By Daniel Feliciano

30th Apr, 2022 | 8:40am

Kris Boyd wants Rangers to rest Ryan Kent for Old Firm derby v Celtic ahead of Europa League semi-final

Kris Boyd wants Giovanni van Bronckhorst to drop Ryan Kent for the Old Firm derby this weekend as Rangers prepare for a second leg war with RB Leizig in midweek.

Rangers have got big injuries in attack with Alfredo Morelos and Kemar Roofe both out injured, making their task of overturning the 1-0 deficit in Europe even tougher.

But with the huge clash against Celtic taking place this Sunday at Parkhead, Boyd wrote in his Scottish Sun column that he wants to see Kent rested for the Europa League clash but has backed Fashion Sakala Jr, Steven Davis and Scott Arfield to start in a rotated side.

“The players know what is at stake,” he said. “They will also know deep down the Premiership title is gone. It was gone when they lost 2-1 to Celtic at the start of the month.

“Van Bronckhorst has a tough job finding the right balance  — and he does not have an embarrassment of riches at his disposal. He cannot afford to make wholesale changes and expect it not to have an impact on the performance.

“There might be three or four and I would expect to see Steven Davis, Fashion Sakala and Scott Arfield to come in. Those guys are not a massive downgrade from the men who started in Germany.

“With one eye on Leipzig, the one player I would seriously think about leaving out is Ryan Kent.

“With striker Kemar Roofe and midfielder Aaron Ramsey still major injury doubts, Kent is the one man Rangers need against RB [Leipzig].

“I would not be surprised in the least to see Van Bronckhorst go with  Sakala on the left and give Kent a rest for Thursday night.

“I’m sure it will be something that is at the back of his mind. I don’t think you could argue if he makes that call.”

Priorities

The Old Firm is always the most important fixture in the schedule for both Rangers and Celtic fans, but it feels different this time around.

After losing the league fixture last month the title was essentially snatched from their hands, but they got their pride back when they won the Scottish Cup semi-final a few weeks later.

This is the final league game between the two sides but there is little meaning in it for Rangers at this point. All eyes are on the Europa League semi-final and fans should accept that.

Even winning at Parkhead won’t really help them in their race for the title, and if someone got injured in the process and was forced to miss the Europa League game it wouldn’t be worth it.

The team need to make a decision on what’s more important and stick with it. The squad is good enough to compete regardless of any changes made, so the fans will understand.

In other Rangers news, Sky Sports pundit predicts Rangers Europa League fate