Steven Gerrard looks to have been handed a huge injury blow ahead of the Old Firm Derby this Sunday, with Nathan Patterson looking unlikely to feature for Rangers after picking up a knock in midweek.
Gerrard confirmed following the game against Slavia Prague on Thursday that the 19-year-old was struggling after getting a kick to the calf, which could well rule him out of today’s match.
What is even worse for Gerrard is that first-choice right-back James Tavernier is also sidelined through injury, meaning that the Gers are down to bare bones in that department for what is arguably their most important game for the rest of the season.
Of course, Rangers have already delivered title number 55 but they are undoubtedly desperate to finish the season unbeaten, having won 28 and drawn four of their 32 league fixtures so far this season.
Therefore, it comes as a huge blow for Gerrard that he could be without the teenage defender, who has stepped up impressively in the absence of Tavernier in recent weeks.
Balogun also highlighted his vulnerability as a right-back in the recent 5-2 win against Royal Antwerp, which is something that Rangers’ Old Firm rivals may look to exploit on Sunday if the Nigerian is forced to deputise in that position once again.
Patterson earned a lot of praise for his performances against Slavia Prague in both legs of their Europa League tie, with Gerrard suggesting after the first leg at the Sinobo Stadium that the academy graduate “became a man“, whilst BT Sport pundit David Weir suggested that he was “outstanding” during the game at Ibrox on Thursday.
Therefore, it will be a shame if Patterson misses Sunday’s derby, as he has shown in his recent performances that he is more than ready to step up on big occasions for the Gers; and considering Tavernier’s absence, it could seriously put Rangers’ unbeaten run in the league at risk if he doesn’t feature, as it would likely force Gerrard to play Balogun in a position where he has previously struggled.