Rangers return to Premiership action today as Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men look to bounce back from their midweek humiliation against their arch-rivals.
The Gers were hammered 3-0 by Celtic at Parkhead on Wednesday night and now have the chance to return to winning ways against Hearts.
The Ibrox side may have some key selection decisions ahead of him as a number of players failed to impress last time out.
Whilst Borna Barisic was hooked at half-time against the Hoops after his dreadful error for Liel Abada’s goal to make it 3-0, the experienced Croatian left-back should keep his place in the side. He is a seasoned professional who knows how to perform at this level and should retain his position.
Barisic has averaged a phenomenal SofaScore rating of 7.26 in the Premiership this season. This shows that he has been sublime for the majority of the campaign and one half of football should not change that.
Instead of dropping him, van Bronckhorst must brutally axe centre-back Calvin Bassey from the XI. The defender has been a liability in the last two matches and it could be time for him to be taken out of the firing line for a match.
The Dutch head coach previously mentioned the Nigerian’s lack of game time at centre-back in his career, saying: “He does not have a lot of experience in the central positions.”
This could be why the £6.4k-per-week dud looked shaky against Celtic after his dismal showing against Ross County in the previous outing. He made a key error leading to a goal in the 3-3 draw and was all over the shop against Ange Postecoglou’s side as he consistently found himself out of position and leaving huge gaps behind him.
Leon Balogun came on at half-time against the Hoops and put in a solid display. As per SofaScore, he won three of his four duels and made two clearances, one block and two interceptions in just 45 minutes as the Gers kept a clean sheet in the second half.
The experienced Nigeria international could be the perfect player to come in to steady the ship on Sunday. Whilst Bassey’s inexperience may cause him to stutter, Balogun – 33 – has a long career behind him and should know how to put in reliable performances, as shown by his cameo in midweek, and could come in alongside Connor Goldson at the back.