Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst has confirmed that three of his key men – Leon Balogun, Calvin Bassey and Joe Aribo will be eligible to feature against Celtic before joining up with the Nigeria squad for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
There were fears that all three would miss the Parkhead showdown to prepare for the tournament that will be staged over four weeks in Cameroon from January 9.
“They will be here with the team, 100 per cent. For me, it was already clear that we would release them if needed after the Old Firm game,”Van Bronckhorst said:
“So we have the full squad until we go into the winter break.”
The loss of Aribo in particular would have been a damaging blow for Rangers given his fine form since Van Bronckhorst’s appointment at Ibrox.
The playmaker would miss the Old Firm fixture if he picks up a booking against Dundee United and Van Bronckhorst will carefully consider his team selection.
He said: “You are preparing the game for [Saturday], but you obviously have your plans for the next games if possible, especially if you have players one card from suspension.
“Also physically you have to watch the load for the players. You have to take everything into account.”
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