By Daniel Feliciano

30th Apr, 2022 | 11:00am

Barry Ferguson warns Rangers against fielding weakened team v Celtic

Former Rangers captain Barry Ferguson says there is ‘no chance’ the club should field a weakened team against Celtic while there is a chance to win the title.

A third Old Firm derby in four weeks takes place on Sunday at Parkhead, where Celtic can seal the title with a victory to move nine points clear with three games remaining.

With Rangers facing a Europa League semi-final second leg in midweek there have been calls for Giovanni van Bronckhorst to field a weakened side, but Ferguson told Daily Record that it shouldn’t even be in his mind when there is a chance to win the title.

“There’s a chain of thought Gio van Bronckhorst might make wholesale changes for the trip to Parkhead on Sunday with the second leg of the Europa League semi final looming on Thursday,” he said.

“But I don’t go along with it. If it were any other team in the country, then I’d get it. But Celtic? With the prospect of them going nine points clear with three games left if Rangers get beaten? No chance.

“Yes, there might be a couple of changes but while there is still the slightest chance of winning the league, I don’t think the Rangers manager can send out a weakened team.

“What kind of signal would that send out? It would be like saying they’ve conceded defeat in the title race and with four games to go, you simply cannot do that.

“Look, it’s unlikely Celtic will spill enough points in the final three games of the campaign, even if Rangers beat them, but you just never know. That’s why I’d be surprised if he wrapped his main men in cotton wool.

“Rangers must go in with the attitude that Celtic AND Leipzig can be beaten.”

Priority

As a Rangers man through and through, there is nothing worse to Ferguson than losing to Celtic and allowing them to win the Scottish Premiership title.

But on this occasion the fans need to be realistic that the title is gone and there are bigger fish to fry on this occasion.

There are 12 points to play for in the league and they are currently six points behind with a worse goal difference, so they essentially need Celtic to drop points in three games after going unbeaten since October.

It’s just unrealistic and if another key player was to pick up an injury during the game that then cost them a chance to play against RB Leipzig at Ibrox in the Europa League, then they’d be kicking themselves.

Rangers are strong enough to compete even with making changes, but the priority at this point in the season has to be the Europa League semi-final and that means making tough decisions.

In other Rangers news, Kris Boyd calls for Rangers ace to be dropped v Celtic, names 3 players he wants to start