Rangers manager Gio van Bronckhorst has hinted at rotation in his side for this weekend’s Old Firm clash at Celtic Park – but admits he won’t know until tomorrow who he’s going to have available.
The Light Blues’ haven’t had their problems to seek with injuries this season and the Gers’ hectic calendar has further exacerbated the strain put on the Dutchman’s squad.
With the Ibrox squad flying back to Glasgow from Leipzig today, van Bronckhorst will wait until tomorrow before making a final decision on the fitness of his stars ahead of facing Celtic.
“The players are having breakfast now and we’re doing a recovery session and then flying back,” van Bronckhorst said.
“It’s always short after the Thursday game in Europe to prepare for the weekend but I think today is very important to recover well and have a good look and feel about the players and how they feel.
“Tomorrow we’ll make a plan for Sunday. It’s still too early to say who is going to play or not, especially in these weeks when you have so many games.
“You have to rotate players at some points but how many players? I will know tomorrow.”
Despite hinting at changes this weekend, van Bronckhorst is still expecting 100% from whoever is given the nod.
The Rangers boss made clear that his players need to play on through the side’s hectic schedule and get a positive result in Glasgow’s east end.
“Yesterday the approach was to bring a good result back to Ibrox,” he added . “Sunday we have to go all out and do everything for the win.
“Our focus is now on Celtic, we will recover and prepare for the game on Sunday. The belief is there, we will go there to get a good result. My objective is to have my players well prepared mentally and physically.
“I know my players will do everything on Sunday to get a good result, this is what they have continued to do through a hectic schedule.
“We still have a shot at a European final, this shows the excellent performances of our players in Europe. We have a short next week to give it our all and our aim is to reach the final.”
Rangers can’t afford to take their eye off the ball against Celtic
While the attention for most is on the return leg against RB Leipzig next week, Rangers simply can’t afford to go into this Old Firm with anything other than 100% focus.
A win for Celtic would end any hopes of a Rangers comeback in the title race – as unlikely as it may seem – and Ange Postecoglou’s side will want to make a statement at their own place.
Heading there with a shadow side would be a huge gamble and one that could really backfire ahead of the Europa League semi-final second leg at Ibrox.