Rangers vs Celtic: The six Ibrox stars who could miss Old Firm
Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Rangers vs Celtic: The six Ibrox stars who could miss Old Firm

Six Rangers stars may be unavailable to Giovanni van Bronckhorst against Celtic after the next Old Firm was moved from 2 January to 2 February.

The Gers were against any alterations to the original schedule following the introduction of new Covid restrictions.

However, the majority of Premiership clubs were in favour and the SPFL confirmed the changes on Wednesday.

Moving the game gives Celtic hope of having a much bigger crowd than the 500 fans that would have been permitted at Parkhead next weekend and it also gives them time to ease currently crocked players back to full fitness.

It’s much less convenient for Rangers, though, as a number of key men who would have featured may now be unavailable.

The potential impact of the Africa Cup of Nations has been widely covered, with Joe Aribo, Leon Balogun and Calvin Bassey all likely to be involved with Nigeria.

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The Super Eagles’ group stage matches will be done by 19 January but they’ll be aiming to go all the way in the competition and the final isn’t until 6 February.

Aribo, Balogun and Bassey may not be the only ones on international duty, though.

CONCACAF and CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifiers are taking place in late January and early February and as many as three Gers could be called into action there.

Kemar Roofe is currently injured but he’s featured regularly for Jamaica since making his debut earlier this year.

There’s little doubt that if fit, he’ll be called up for fixtures against Mexico, Panama and Costa Rica between 28 January and 3 February.

Meanwhile, Scott Arfield and Alfredo Morelos could be called up for Canada and Colombia duty respectively.

Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Arfield hasn’t played international football for some time but he recently hinted at a return to the Canada setup in the hope that he would get the chance to play at Qatar 2022.

Canada are taking on Honduras (28 Jan), USA (30 Jan) and El Salvador (3 Feb).

Morelos has missed out on the last few Colombia squads amid a drop-off in form at club level, but he’s bagged five goals in his last seven Rangers appearances and Reinaldo Rueda could call on him for fixtures against Peru (28 Jan) and Argentina (1 Feb).

Of course, in the event of call-ups, the club may resist or the player in question may opt to prioritise club duty, but it’ll be a nervous wait for Rangers fans until the situation becomes clearer.

Meanwhile, an ex-Rangers player has hilariously roasted Celtic on Twitter after their draw at St Mirren.