By Graeme Hanna

26th Apr, 2023 | 5:40pm

Ally McCoist shares Rangers midfield verdict v Celtic as Chris Sutton watches on

Ally McCoist has delivered a Rangers midfield verdict ahead of Sunday’s massive Scottish Cup semi-final clash against Celtic, as featured on Viaplay Sports’ collaboration with The Overlap.

Super Ally pinpointed that Michael Beale’s side can’t allow their opponents to dictate the midfield as has been the case in some of the recent Old Firm contests.

He stated the importance of Nico Raskin, whilst touching on the physicality brought to the occasion by the likes of Ryan Jack and John Lundstram.

There is so much pressure on the Rangers players to deliver, especially after the deflation of last weekend’s defeat to Aberdeen, which has further dented the fans’ confidence as much as hopes remain high of repeating the success of last season at the same stage of the competition.

“The midfield battle is always intriguing,” said McCoist when asked where he sees the game being won and lost.

“I’ve got to say, Calum McGregor has been excellent in recent Old Firm games, however, I’ve been really impressed with what Raskin has come in and achieved.

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“I would also probably look at Jack and Lundstram as bringing a physicality as much as possible to the middle of the park.

“I just think in a couple of the games, Celtic have been allowed to a certain degree, to dictate play in the middle and I don’t think that can be allowed to happen.”

Deliver under pressure

In last year’s game, Rangers recovered from losing the opening goal to equalise, then they went on to clinch the game in extra time.

That victory came just days after the huge boost of beating Braga in the Europa League but that euphoric Thursday night bounce is long gone.

There is serious doubt if the current team would be able to win from a losing position against Celtic, who have won three of the four meetings in this campaign with the other, a 2-2 draw at Ibrox.

The midfield will be pivotal. Raskin will need to put in his best performance yet, Jack will be absent and Lundstram needs to turn up, his poor form can’t continue nor can he rely on a purple patch for a few months, last season.

Beale’s team must deliver under pressure, as the manager strives for his first derby success at the fourth attempt.

In other Rangers news, BBC pundit has shared a £5m Malik Tillman transfer doubt as this behind-the-scenes prediction has been shared.