Glasgow Rangers will want to avenge their loss to St. Mirren in the Betfred Cup when they travel to Paisley to take on the Saints in the Scottish Premiership on Wednesday afternoon.
Steven Gerrard will be well aware that it won’t be a walk in the park for the 54-time Scottish champions, having borne witness to a humiliating last-gasp defeat at the hands of Jim Goodwin’s side earlier this month.
Besides that humbling defeat, Rangers have been in scintillating form since the start of the season, with 18 wins, two draws and no defeats in the top flight. But with games coming thick and fast this month and next – they play Celtic three days after facing the Saints – Gerrard will want to rotate his squad in the midst of a busy schedule.
With that in mind, Gerrard may decide to bring Calvin Bassey back into the fold to face the Saints at St. Mirren Park.
The 20-year-old has featured seven times in the Premiership this season, but has only started on three occasions so far, with his last appearance coming by way of the fateful quarter-final against St. Mirren in the Scottish League Cup.
He has been left as an unused substitute on the bench for the past three games in the top flight, with 28-year-old defender Borna Barisic preferred in his place instead.
Gerrard’s undisputed first-choice left-back put in an immense shift against Hibernian, but if the Ibrox boss does decide to give Barisic a break, then Bassey surely must be his first port of call to replace the Croatian on the left side.
Equally capable of playing at centre-back or full-back, the Englishman, who turns 21 in a matter of days, could cause Goodwin’s side all sorts of problems bombing up and down the flanks with his bursts of pace and pinging crosses into the box.
Gerrard has been effusive in his praise for the Leicester City academy product, telling reporters after the Europa League game against Standard Liege:
“I thought Calvin was outstanding. For someone who has very little experience, to come into a game as big as that and at that level and perform the way he did made us very proud.
“He’s a fantastic kid, a kid who wants to learn, who wants grow and evolve and with team we’re really confident we can help polish him up and get him to become even better than he is.
“He’s got real interesting attributes right now and he showed them on Thursday night, which was fantastic to see.”
In seven appearances in the Premiership this season, Bassey is averaging 1.7 tackles and one interception per game, via WhoScored.
It’s fair to say that the youngster has turned out to be an absolute gem ever since he arrived at Ibrox in the summer. He bagged his first goal for the club against Falkirk in the Betfred Cup and his endurance and durability could be key for the Gers keeping another clean sheet if he is selected.