Rangers host Celtic in what looks like it will be a season-defining Old Firm derby at Ibrox on Sunday, and Gers fans are worried about the potential of 6ft 3in defender Bruno Alves starting in defence.
Graeme Murty’s men come into the clash six points adrift of their arch-rivals, and they know while a win would bring them to within three points of their Glasgow neighbours at the summit, a defeat would leave them nine points adrift and almost certainly out of the Scottish Premiership title race.
Alves, who came under criticism from fans following the club’s defeat against St Johnstone before Christmas, made his first start since the previous Old Firm clash on December 30 against Falkirk in the SFA Cup last weekend, and with Russell Martin injured the 36-year-old could make the XI again against Celtic on Sunday.
Rangers supporters were quick to have their say on the potential of the Portugal international starting against the Brendan Rodgers’ men, and while one said they “dread Alves playing”, another said “let’s hope Alves proves me wrong and has a decent game”.
Here is just a selection of the Twitter reaction…
Let's hope Alves proves me wrong and has a decent game.
— Amo De Boer (@Amo0719) March 9, 2018
Strange days when one of our biggest concerns is our most experienced players and decorated players. Alves
— Captain Mainwaring (@Eilidh_Kenny) March 10, 2018
That's basically the cause for my concern. Don't fancy Alves starting and I'm not concerned about our attack in any way. Like you said, rest of the team takes care of itself
— Stu (@_stuhamilton) March 8, 2018
100% agree but we don't need Alves to cover much ground, his experience needs to count for something and give he's chasing a WC place, he needs a big performance tmoro
— 🐻 ʀᴀɴɢᴇʀs ʙᴇᴀʀ™ (@BigScotsBear) March 10, 2018
Brady didn't drain in the up coming days before some matches..hoping it's the same type of thing dread alves playing
— CJ (@Cjnovo992) March 8, 2018
Bruno Alves, big game for him needs to show he’s still good enough at this level for this type of fixture. A bad game for him & he probably won’t go to the World Cup
— Kyle Macrae (@KyleMacrae_) March 11, 2018
Most intriguing issue selection wise is CBs for Sunday. Alves is without doubt the hardest player to assess in our squad. He’s looked quality at times. Slow and vulnerable at others. And largely played when the team wasn’t functioning.
— TheRangersGuy (@rangers_guy) March 9, 2018
I think tomorrow’s game will be a high scoring one Rangers are scoring for fun and both defensively are not the best I’m a bit worried if alves gets a game I wouldn’t have him anywhere near the team
— ANDY LACEY🇬🇧 (@knighthawk1970) March 10, 2018