Rangers are set to receive an Old Firm boost as Celtic midfielder Tom Rogic will miss the tie on February 2 having been called up to the Australian squad for their vital World Cup qualifiers against Vietnam and Oman.
Rogic has been in excellent form as of late, scoring twice and notching four assists as Celtic has embarked on a decent run of results. With him missing, they could struggle.
It could well be a game in which fringe players make the biggest impact, as Rangers are set to be without Alfredo Morelos, Joe Aribo, Kemar Roofe, and James Sands for the rescheduled game.
Celtic could be without their Japanese quartet either due to injury or via international call-ups, as well as the aforementioned Rogic.
The tie was originally due to be played on January 2, but due to the fears over the Omicron Covid variant, the winter break was brought forward and started following the Boxing Day fixtures instead of immediately after the Old Firm clash.
This of course prompted many of the Rangers faithful to suggest that this was all done in Celtic’s interest, due to them having an injury crisis at the time, yet it appears both teams will now be massively hindered with key players unavailable.
Rangers won the last Old Firm tie missing key men
Although fans are worried about facing Celtic minus Morelos or Aribo, the Ibrox side prevailed 1-0 in August whilst missing our manager, two goalkeepers, our captain, and reserve right back, it didn’t turn out too badly.
This gives us hope that the same result could be repeated. It will be Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s first experience as a manager taking on Celtic, but he knows fine well just how big a tie it is having played in a few Old Firm matches during his playing career.
A win would be monumental, it could strike a huge psychological blow and extend our unbeaten run over Celtic to eight matches, stretching back to December 2019.
It could be a case of who blinks first as the battle for the title looks set to go down to the wire.