By Sam Stone

26th Apr, 2023 | 8:10am

Rangers predicted XI v Celtic: John Souttar axed, Ryan Kent to return

Rangers take on Celtic on Sunday afternoon in the Scottish Cup semi-final as Michael Beale looks to prevent the Hoops from securing a treble.

The Light Blues are coming off of an extremely disappointing loss to Aberdeen and Beale could look to make two changes to his starting XI at Hampden Park (30 April).

The most significant alteration should come in defence with summer signing John Souttar axed, with Connor Goldson coming in to replace the former Hearts man.

Beale revealed (Glasgow Evening Times, 21 April) that Goldson should be back for the clash against the Bhoys after missing the Gers’ recent Parkhead loss. The rest of the defence should remain untouched, with Allan McGregor starting in goal, with Borna Barisic and James Tavernier in the full-back positions.

Ben Davies should also keep his place and partner the returning Goldson. Moving into midfield, we don’t anticipate Beale to make any significant changes. Ryan Jack is out of Sunday’s fixture, and Glen Kamara was an unused substitute against the Dons.

It’s highly likely that Nicolas Raskin and John Lundstram are entrusted to provide energy and grit in the middle of the park for the Gers.

One other change could see Ryan Kent come back into the starting XI after his injury layoff with Fashion Sakala the player to make way. Todd Cantwell and Malik Tillman should make up the attacking midfield trio, with Alfredo Morelos the man to lead the line, with there still doubts over Antonio Colak’s fitness.

In other Rangers news, transfer twist emerges as Beale may be forced to change his mind due to a “limited budget”.