Rangers could be set to hand Nicolas Raskin a start v Celtic as Michael Beale reveals major doubts surrounding four influential first-team players.

Bayern loanee Malik Tillman tops the list of potential absentees, the young American on fine form and impressing on a weekly basis for the Ibrox club.

But joining the 20-year-old as potential doubts for the League Cup Final are influential midfielders Ryan Jack, John Lundstram and Scott Arfield, who all missed the 3-0 win away to Livingston.

This led Michael Beale to claim that all four could miss the match with Celtic, with the Rangers manager claiming that despite this he’s happy with those who played v the Lions, including £1.75m man Nicolas Raskin.

“They [Tillman, Jack, Lundstram] are big doubts (for next week) because they were not available,” said Michael Beale [Rangers].

“Malik has got a problem with his hamstring, Jacko with his calf and obviously John with his ankle. I’m optimistic to think those plus maybe Scott Arfield will return to training at the backend of the week but it will be touch and go.

“What you saw today might be what we have and I was delighted with what I got today.”

Nicolas Raskin gets pre-Celtic nod from Rangers boss

The Rangers manager was then pressed on the potential involvement of January signings Nicolas Raskin and Todd Cantwell v Celtic.

Speaking after the comprehensive victory over Davie Martindale’s side, all sounds suggest Michael Beale would have no problem pitching one or both of the players in at Hampden.

“No [I wouldn’t have a problem], they are two excellent football players, you could see it again today,” said Beale.

“I thought they both played ever so well but I’ve learned since sitting in the hotseat, it’s alright being an assistant and guiding from the side.

“I’ve had to take a few deep breaths when we’ve lost centre-backs and when one or two players have gone down injured this week.

“You take a deep breath, you trust your next group of players the boys that you throw in and hope that they do well in the shirt and want to keep it. I thought that was certainly the case today, everything I needed to see today I saw.”

If Ryan Jack and John Lundstram don’t make the match for Rangers, then all signs suggest that Nicolas Raskin would be preferred over James Sands to come in alongside Glen Kamara.

These are the matches that can make or break Rangers careers and if Nicolas Raskin can make himself an early hero v Celtic then the sky’s the limit in the weeks and months ahead.

Meanwhile, here are the sounds coming out of the Bayern Munich camp regarding Malik Tillman.

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