Northern Ireland manager Ian Baraclough looks to have done Rangers and Steven Gerrard a favour by all but resting Steven Davis for the 1-0 Nations League defeat to Norway.

Davis has been a key player for Rangers so far this season, racking up 10 appearances in total and starting five of the last six league matches.

Rangers v Dundee United - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Steven Davis has been a strong performer for Rangers in midfield over the early part of the season. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

He’s been even more pivotal for his country over the years, though, and he broke Northern Ireland’s all-time caps record in the dramatic penalty shootout Euro 2020 playoff win over Bosnia and Herzegovina last Thursday night.

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The 35-year-old played the full 120 minutes on his 120th appearance before going on to play another 73 minutes at Windsor Park on Sunday in a 1-0 Nations League defeat to Austria.

 

With that result leaving Baraclough’s men still rooted to the bottom of League B Group 1, he would surely have been tempted to name Davis in his starting XI once again for Wednesday night’s fixture in Oslo. Especially, considering the likes of Martin Ødegaard and Erling Braut Håland were included in the opposition lineup.

Yet, clearly wary of overstretching his skipper with the Old Firm at Celtic Park just three days away, the NI boss barely used Davis.

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Ian Baraclough was careful with Rangers star Steven Davis while he was on international duty

Ian Baraclough was careful with Rangers star Steven Davis while he was on international duty. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

The veteran replaced former Rangers youngster Jordan Thompson in the 85th minute in a last-ditch attempt to salvage a point from the contest.

Those efforts were in vain but the main thing for Steven Gerrard and Rangers supporters is that Davis made it through unscathed and should now be both available and fresh for the big one on Saturday.

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