Steven Gerrard has been handed a huge potential boost ahead of Sunday’s Old Firm derby at Ibrox, with Rangers captain James Tavernier in contention to feature after recovering from his injury.
The former Newcastle United man has been sidelined since February through injury and whilst the Light Blues were able to secure title number 55 in his absence and maintain the unbeaten run, they will be hoping that his return can see them over the line this season, whilst also hoping that he can have a big part to play in their Scottish Cup run.
Gerrard’s side face the Hoops at Ibrox on Sunday and Tavernier could well make his return, after the 40-year-old manager confirmed earlier in the week that the right-back was now back in full training and was pushing to be involved against Celtic.
Although Nathan Patterson has done a stellar job filling in for Tavernier at right-back, the 19-year-old could easily be overawed by playing in such a big occasion due to his lack of experience, whilst Leon Balogun has struggled when asked to play that position in recent months, so perhaps we will see Tavernier from the start.
The English defender has been instrumental in Rangers’ superb season thus far, having contributed a remarkable 11 goals and nine assists in 29 league appearances, which has helped him average an incredible 7.76 rating for his performances.
This ranks him not just as Rangers’ best performer this season, but comfortably the best performer in the Scottish Premiership, which emphasises just how important he has been in Gerrard’s side this season.
Earlier in the season, Gerrard was full of praise for his captain, saying:
“I think Tav is someone that, when he goes through the gears, he is unstoppable, and we have seen that, or flashes of that so far this season – I think he is really close to being at his best.”
This goes to show how much the former Liverpool man values having Tavernier in his squad, and if he is deemed to be fully fit, it would not be a surprise to see him handed a start in the Old Firm derby on Sunday afternoon.
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