Rangers manager Steven Gerrard could throw a selection curveball on Saturday by choosing Cedric Itten to lead the line against Celtic.

Going into the first Old Firm of 2020, there are several unknowns and the absence of fans will make the match a very different spectacle.

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For the first time no fans will be in attendance for a Rangers vs Celtic clash. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Yet, a few days out from the game, Neil Lennon could likely guess the vast majority of the Gers lineup.

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He’ll be confident that Allan McGregor will be in goal and that the back four will be made up of James Tavernier, Connor Goldson, Filip Helander and Borna Barisic. Furthermore, he can be close to certain that Ryan Kent will start on the left and that the midfield duo of Steven Davis and Ryan Jack will also make the XI.

Lennon has faced all of those players before and will be formulating a plan to stop them.

Alfredo Morelos is, for many, still Rangers’ best forward, despite the recruitment work done this summer and the player’s struggles in front of goal against Celtic in the past.

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Alfredo Morelos sees a crucial penalty saved by Fraser Forster in the 2019 League Cup final. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Yet, he too is a known quantity for both the Hoops manager and his defenders. El Bufalo is also arriving back late from Colombia duty after appearing in a World Cup qualifier over 7000 miles away in Santiago on Wednesday.

For those reasons, Gerrard may be better off mixing things up on derby day.

 

Cedric Itten has taken some time to settle following his arrival from St Gallen in August, with niggles not helping his cause.

However, he burst into life with an impressive brace against Motherwell late last month and was lightly worked during the international break whilst on Switzerland duty.

The striker will likely be raring to go and standing at a powerfully built 6ft 2″, he has the physical size that suggests he wouldn’t be bullied at Parkhead.

Motherwell v Rangers - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard could select Cedric Itten ahead of Alfredo Morelos against Celtic. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Perhaps most importantly, though, his freshness to the Scottish game means his selection could put Lennon and co. on the back foot.

Plans will have been made to try to stop Morelos but it’s unlikely Itten has received the same attention in the build-up and certain that the opposition defenders know less about the summer signing.

If given the opportunity to prove his worth on derby day, the 23-year-old could shine.

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