Rangers selection claims dismissed as Derek McInnes mulls over Old Firm starting XI
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Derek McInnes dismisses Rangers selection claims ahead of crunch Old Firm

Kilmarnock boss Derek McInnes expects Rangers to set out to try and win this afternoon’s Old Firm game at Celtic Park – and insists there Light Blues can’t afford to make wholesale changes against their bitter rivals.

With a Europa League semi-final second leg on Thursday, there are soe who think the Gers should just take the hit today and field a weakened team but McInnes is having none of it.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The ex-Rangers midfielder admits there could be a few changes but believes the Gers will be desperate to avoid going into Thursday’s game after back-to-back defeats.

“I’ve heard all the arguments about how he should play a weakened team against Celtic today in order to keep his players fresh for the second leg of the Europa League semi-final against Leipzig,” McInnes said [Mail]

“Europe is now the priority in so many people’s eyes. But that’s precisely why he needs to send out a strong team to try to win at Parkhead.

“Rangers won’t want to go into the second leg against Leipzig on the back of two defeats.

“And as a Rangers player, any defeat to Celtic lingers heavy. It damages you.

“That’s why I can’t see him making wholesale changes. He has the luxury of being able to freshen it up in three or four positions, especially in midfield.

“The likes of Steven Davis, Scott Arfield and maybe even James Sands could all come in.

“The top end of the pitch remains the issue. There are limitations in terms of options but I genuinely think Rangers will set out to try to win the game.”

Rangers can’t just roll over this afternoon and allow Celtic to seal the title

There are countless reasons why Rangers shouldn’t consider sending a second-string side to their place today, particularly the fact they would effectively be crowned champions with a win today.

Thursday’s game is massive but losing to them today will be a sore one, regardless of how well we’ve done in Europe this season.

Winning the final Old Firm of the season is always a nive wee bragging right – and if it can blow the title race open going into the final three games then all the better.

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