As Celtic get the violins out ahead of the first Old Firm Derby of the season, Rangers fans have their own doubts about a narrative that’s forming.
Celtic have been rocked by the news that up to four – definitely three – of their players will miss the crunch tie at Celtic Park.
Israeli international Hatem abd Elhamed is the latest name to have tested positive for coronavirus after international teammate Nir Bitton and French U21 striker Odsonne Edouard.
Ryan Christie has been forced into self-isolation for spending time with Southampton midfielder Stuart Armstrong on international duty, who has contracted the virus.
It had Celtic railing a stinging riposte against the powers that be concerning letting players go on international duty, as if all clubs don’t have to do the same.
Couple this with the fact that Celtic will be without winger James Forrest and £5m summer signing Albian Ajeti, and there’s a woe misery me narrative forming.
But is it really justified?
Of all those players, only really James Forrest – who is injured for different reasons – and Odsonne Edouard – who could still make the match – make the starting XI.
Rangers too have their own set of injury fears and there is no guarantee their players on international duty won’t return a positive test.
The Ibrox side also has a squad besieged by injury, with the likes of Kemar Roofe and Joe Aribo major doubts for the match and potential starters had they been fully fit.
Long-term absentee Nikola Katic scored the winner the last time the two clubs played.
There remain injury doubts over first-teamers Borna Barisic – who is still with Croatia on international duty but is yet to play – and Filip Helander – who was sent home from Swedish duty with a “light injury”.
Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos is also set to play for Colombia against Chile at 1:30am on Wednesday morning UK time.
Between the jet lag and threat of delayed flights, Morelos may also be a doubt for the match.
That is six Rangers first-teamers compared to Celtic’s two.
The reaction to the situation at Celtic has had plenty of Rangers fans questioning the hard done by narrative forming around our Old Firm rivals:
At the moment Celtic only have Christie missing from their strongest 11, possibly Elhamed adding to that. Edouard will play, no doubts about that.
Rangers have Aribo & Roofe out, with Helander & Barisic doubts.
I’m not understanding the narrative on here.
— Faceless 👤 (@FacelessRanger) October 12, 2020
This is funny, Celtic & their friends in the press such as wee Parksy are building up a narrative they are badly affected player wise. Truth is they have more players available than Rangers, don't believe the hype!
— NaeBull (@NaeBull) October 13, 2020
We have several injuries and players not 100% match fit. Possibly no Barasic, Helander, Kamara, Aribo, Roofe. Jack not 100% either. Frankly I’m not liking this narrative that Celtic are at a disadvantage going in to the game.
— UnionFlag1872 (@UnionFlag1872) October 12, 2020
We have Roofe, Aribo, Katic and maybe Barasic, Helander and McGregor injured? No advantage for any team.
— Ross (@RossJohnstone91) October 12, 2020
Jordan, don't be sucked in by this 'Celtic are weakened' narrative.
They are trying to create a siege mentality to compensate for not getting their home crowd in.
Even the ref is getting it.
— NaeBull (@NaeBull) October 13, 2020
Don’t get it, both clubs have roughly the same amount of first team players out whether through covid or injury, really not getting the over confidence among some fans if being honest
— Scott (@King1Scott) October 12, 2020
It’s arguable that we have more doubts over first team starters – if for different reasons.
— John Webster 🏴 (@johnauldwebster) October 12, 2020
Whilst I love the enthusiasm from a lot of folk far too many gloating and acting as if we are going to pump them.
Sets us up for a slagging if it goes the other way.
As you said we still have more first choice picks missing than they do.
— Amato86 (@Amato861) October 12, 2020