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Rangers must unleash centre-back Leon Balogun in the Old Firm

Rangers will be looking to return to winning ways in the Premiership as Gio van Bronckhorst’s side travel away from Ibrox this evening.

The Gers take on their fierce rivals Celtic at Parkhead in the Old Firm clash at the top of the table, with the Dutchman’s team currently two points ahead of their rivals as it stands.

They come into the game off the back of a disappointing 3-3 draw away at Ross County at the weekend, conceding an equaliser in the 96th minute.

Unleash him

One player van Bronckhorst must unleash against the Hoops is central defender Leon Balogun.

Should Balogun start tonight?

Yes

Yes

No

No

The Nigeria international is back and available for selection and he must be selected to start in the heart of the defence alongside Connor Goldson.

Former Gers boss Steven Gerrard once lauded the beast as “important” and that is exactly what he could be for the club in this clash. The £14k-per-week gem has averaged a SofaScore rating of 7.05 this term, winning 64% of his duels, after averaging a score of 7.13 and winning 61% of his battles last season.

This shows that he is a proven player at Premiership level as he has regularly provided quality displays at this level over the course of almost two seasons. He knows what it takes to perform in the division and is a reliable option for van Bronckhorst to call upon.

Calvin Bassey endured a rough afternoon against Ross County as he ended the match with a dismal SofaScore rating of 5.9. He made an error leading directly to a goal as his air-kick allowed the opposition to race clear through on Allan McGregor’s goal to make it 2-1 to the hosts at the time.

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This means that it could be beneficial for the Gers to place him on the bench for this match to avoid the nerves getting to him after such a poor performance last time out. Balogun is an experienced operator, as shown by his form over the last 18 months, and could slot straight in.

Sir Kenny Dalglish previously dubbed him as a “real leader” and this is one of the reasons why it may make sense to bring him in for this match. In a high-pressure, high-stakes, match at the top of the table, the Gers need all the experience and leadership they can get on the pitch, with Balogun able to bring his mental qualities to the forefront.

AND in other news, GVB starts Ramsey, £16k-p/w gem left out: How Rangers’ best XI may look after January…

Article title: Rangers must unleash centre-back Leon Balogun in the Old Firm

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