Rangers head to Celtic Park on Sunday for the fifth and final Old Firm clash of the season and, despite suggestions on social media, the Light Blues can’t afford to send a shadow squad to Parkhead for such a vital fixture.
With some fans already turning their focus to the second leg of the Europa League semi-final against RB Leipzig, there have been some claiming the Light Blues should turn to the B team for the trip across the city.
It’s likely there will be some changes for the Parkhead clash this weekend with the visit of Leipzig following so quickly but it would be crazy to make wholesale changes for the sake of it.
The six-point gap at the top of the Premiership means a win for Celtic would effectively seal their title win, while defeat blows the title race open with three games to go and three points between the Old Firm.
Rangers still competing on three fronts ahead of Celtic clash
Deciding to sacrifice that in favour of Thursday’s game seems incredibly short-sighted and doesn’t really take into account that defeat in both games would the van Bronckhorst’s with three meaningless League games plod through before the Scottish Cup final in May.
The idea of throwing the likes of Leon King, Adam Devine, Charlie McCann and Tony Weston into such a massive fixture is just ridiculous and, should the Light Blues come away on the receiving end of a scudding, it’ll do little for the youngster’s confidence moving forward.
There’s little doubt Celtic will want to make some sort of statement by effectively wrapping up the title this weekend and van Bronckhorst faces a balancing act to get his squad right without asking players to go to the well one too many times.
Players need to learn to cope with demands at clubs like Rangers
However, these are the demands that come with being at a massive club and competing on several fronts at the end of the campaign.
If the players can’t get themselves ready to go this weekend, there’s something badly wrong – although there doesn’t seem to be any suggestion the players are flagging yet.
A title win is still hugely unlikely this season but, as long as there’s still a chance, going over there and effectively waving the white flag before a ball is kicked is inconceivable.
While ‘Make Us Dream’ has been adopted as a slogan related to the club’s Europa League run, Rangers should take a leaf out of a former ex-Ibrox defender’s book and ‘Keep Believing’ the title can remain at Ibrox this season.