Balogun may miss Hearts clash

Bring Balogun back, McCoist tells Rangers


By: Johnny Edward

Nigerian defender Leon Balogun may miss the Old Firm derby against Celtic on Saturday, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

The 35-year-old suffered a back injury in the Gers’ last game against Kilmarnock on Sunday and remains a huge doubt for the top-of-the-table clash against the Hoops at Celtic Park.

Balogun’s injury comes after the Gers are already without Connor Goldson, Oscar Cortes and Danilo for the rest of the season as they are ruled out with injuries.

There are also concerns over the availability of Ridvan Yilmaz and Ryan Jack featuring in the encounter.

“Yes he (Balogun) is injured,” Rangers coach, Philippe Clement said.

“We will see in the next couple of days if he will be fit to play.”

In his absence, Ben Davies may partner John Souttar in the heart of the Gers’ defence should Balogun not recover in time.

So far this season, Balogun has made 14 Scottish league appearances (18 in all competitions) for Rangers.

Balogun, whose contract expires May 31, is expected to leave Ibrox this summer. Others also expected to leave are Todd Cantwell, Tom Lawrence, Fabio
Silva, Abdallah Sima and Rabbi Matondo.

Meanwhile, Rangers will aim to record their first win over Celtic this season on Saturday.

Brendan Rodgers’ side won the first meeting of the season at Ibrox with Kyogo Furuhashi scoring the only goal in a 1-0 victory last September.

The Hoops then took the honours again at Celtic Park in December as they ended Philippe Clement’s unbeaten record as Rangers boss to move eight points clear of their rivals, who had two games in hand.

Last month the teams met again at Ibrox and could not be separated as Rabbi Matondo scored a late equaliser in a pulsating six-goal thriller.

Celtic currently lead the SPL with three points and will be desperate to move six points clear at the top of the log with another win.