Rangers take on St Mirren at Ibrox on Saturday afternoon in the knowledge that a win could potentially see them secure the Premiership title this weekend.
Steven Gerrard’s side can seal their first league title in 10 years should they earn three points against Jim Goodwin’s side, so long as their Old Firm rivals drop points away at Dundee United on Sunday.
If Gerrard wants to make sure of victory in one of the most important games of the season, then he should restore Ianis Hagi to his starting XI on Saturday.
The Romanian international was left on the bench for the game against Livingston and Rangers missed his creativity on the right-hand side, with the Gers reliant on a late winner from Alfredo Morelos to seal the three points in midweek.
So far this season, the 22-year-old has contributed five goals and nine assists in the Scottish top flight, which has seen him average an impressive 6.93 match rating with WhoScored.
St Mirren have only conceded 34 goals in 31 league games this season, so it won’t be easy for Gerrard’s side to unlock their defence. Therefore they should start Hagi, as he is the joint-top assists provider alongside James Tavernier in this Rangers side so far this season.
Hagi will be fresh after being left on the bench against David Martindale’s side and will surely be raring to make an impression ahead of next week’s hugely important fixtures against Slavia Prague and Rangers’ Old Firm rivals.
Romania under-21 manager Adrian Mutu was full of praise for Hagi in November of last year, saying:
“He has the ability and skill to make the difference in any match he plays.”
Gerrard will be hoping that Mutu’s words ring true on Saturday if he does opt to start the youngster, for if there are nerves on show at Ibrox, then Hagi could provide the bit of added quality or magic needed to unlock St Mirren’s defence and potentially bring Rangers one step closer to the title.
And, in other news… Forget Morelos: “Outstanding” Rangers beast was Gerrard’s star vs Livingston