Rangers have been handed a fresh update ahead of kick-off tonight, leaving Steven Gerrard with a big dilemma as his side head away from Ibrox Stadium to hopefully continue that unbeaten run…
As per The Sun, the Scottish champions had hoped to hear the verdict from an SFA hearing panel over potential punishments for three of Gerrard’s first-team stars, Nathan Patterson, Bongani Zungu, and Calvin Bassey after breaching regulations.
They were charged with ‘not complying’ with Scottish FA rules and for not acting in the ‘best interests of association football’ but the Gers’ appeal has set back the consequences for the time being, with no announcement due before tonight’s clash with St Johnstone.
This means that Patterson, and the others, are in line to feature.
After the 19-year-old’s impressive display over arch-rivals Celtic in the Scottish Cup over the weekend, his availability has now given Gerrard plenty to ponder as his first-choice right-back, skipper James Tavernier, is back from injury too.
In fact, Patterson has been remarkable filling in for the Gers leader ever since his absence in February.
The Light Blues face a double-header against The Saints this week, the second encounter being the Scottish Cup quarter-final, a competition that they haven’t won since 2009, when defeating Falkirk at Hampden Park.
Gerrard could stick with the teenage sensation knowing that there is a possibility that any ban comes into action before Sunday’s big match at Ibrox, with Tavernier also not being rushed back.
No.2 Gary McAllister revealed his thoughts on the situation in a pre-game press conference, he said (via the Daily Record): “What a wonderful position for the manager and everyone here at the club to have two outstanding players in the same position.”
But as Rangers’ clear standout performer in a title-winning season, the temptation to start the key man may prove too much.
Tavernier has recorded an average WhoScored rating of 7.76, which puts him top of the tree in Glasgow right now, and only one other player has matched his nine assists in the Scottish Premiership this term (Ianis Hagi).
The 6-foot beast is also among Gerrard’s most industrious players, managing to average 1.9 tackles, 1.9 shots and two key passes each outing, also as per WhoScored.
AND in other news, Exclusive: Pundit cannot see Steven Gerrard leaving Rangers for PL giants…