Rangers are finally back in action this Sunday as Steven Gerrard’s side welcome League One Cove Rangers to Ibrox in the Scottish Cup – and it is likely to be a much-changed starting XI for the Light Blues.

With the international break having given some of the Gers squad a chance to recharge their batteries, suspension and injuries mean there is still going to be some of the regular starters in the side come Sunday night.

Celtic v Rangers - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Gerrard ahead of last month’s Old Firm draw at Parkhead (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

After keeping ten clean sheets in his eleven appearances for the Gers so far, Jon McLaughlin seems almost certain to come into the starting XI at the expense of Allan McGregor.

Injury to James Tavernier and Nathan Patterson’s suspension leaves the Gers short at right-back, leaving Leon Balogun as the most realistic option at right-back – although Ryan Jack could slot in there.

Connor Goldson should continue his record of playing every minute of every game this season – this time with yet another partner in the shape of Jack Simpson.

Borna Barisic is likely to round out the back four with Calvin Bassey suspended.

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The midfield three is a really interesting prospect with Gerrard short of options with Ryan Jack’s fitness unclear and Bongani Zungu banned.

International duty for Steven Davis and Glen Kamara could see one of the pair rested to join Scott Arfield in the middle of the park.


The third man of the trio would have been Joe Aribo but after he picked up a stomach bug while away with Nigeria, it seems unlikely he’ll be risked.

That could see Gerrard return to something he tried against another League One side earlier this season, Falkirk, and bring Ianis Hagi into a deeper role than the one he usually occupies on the right.

Ahead of them, there could be a first start for Scott Wright with Cedric Itten also coming into the side for a rare start and looking to support veteran Jermain Defoe.

Here’s how we think the Light Blues will line up against the League One title contenders:


Meanwhile, one Rangers star was surprisingly dropped as his national team suffered defeat in their latest World Cup qualifier

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