Rangers are set to host Aberdeen at Ibrox tonight as they look to extend their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership table.
The Gers are three points clear as it stands after beating St Mirren 2-1 on Sunday to overtake Hearts. Steven Gerrard’s side went 1-0 down early on, but goals from Kemar Roofe and Alfredo Morelos secured the win for the away side.
Whilst Gerrard will be delighted with his team’s ability to come back from behind, it was far from a perfect performance and he could be tempted to make some changes to his XI for this clash with Aberdeen.
One player the head coach must ruthlessly axe from the team is left-back Borna Barisic.
The Croatian international should be dropped to give Calvin Bassey the opportunity to show that he can produce a better display than the one Barisic managed against St Mirren on Sunday.
As per SofaScore, the full-back recorded a rating of 6.5 in the match as he put in a shocking showing for the Gers at left-back.
He lost 66.6% of his nine individual duels on the pitch and was dribbled past as many times as he completed tackles (two), as he struggled badly defensively. The lightweight also lost possession of the ball 18 times as he failed with seven of his nine attempted crosses.
This is why the £18k-per-week dud does not deserve to keep his place in the side against Aberdeen. Gerrard knows that Bassey has the quality to come in and produce a top-class display, which is another reason why he could be tempted to axe the 28-year-old.
The Nigerian international has averaged an impressive SofaScore rating of 7.10 in four Premiership appearances this season.
He has won 63% of his duels and only been dribbled past 0.3 times per match, to go along with his 2.5 tackles and interceptions combined. The ex-Leicester man has shown that he is a reliable, viable, option for the manager to call upon at left-back or centre-back.
This suggests that he has the potential to come in and perform to a higher standard than the level shown by Barisic against St. Mirren.
Resting the Croatian for this match could also allow him to get himself fully prepared for the match against Motherwell on Sunday, with rotation – along with form – an important part of Gerrard’s team selection decisions.