Home Celtic Rangers man backs youngster to replace Alves and John for Celtic clash

Rangers man backs youngster to replace Alves and John for Celtic clash

Celtic vs Hearts

Rangers have a great chance to prove their title credentials by handing Celtic their first defeat in 57 local games when both teams clash at Ibrox on Saturday.

While a somewhat great start to the campaign will have the Gers camp raring to secure all 3 points, manager Pedro Caixinha is left to sweat the fitness of defensive duo Bruno Alves and Declan John.

Both went off injured in Tuesday’s League Cup win at Partick Thistle, and aren’t likely to be at 100% should they start.

An injury to skipper Lee Wallace already handed John an opportunity to impress, but the manager might now have to reshuffle at the back.

The Portuguese boss has claimed he doesn’t have any worries handing 19-year-old Ross McCrorie a starting debut if need-be, following the impressive performance of the youngster when he replaced Alves at Firhill.

2nd choice goalkeeper Jak Alnwick has also backed McCrorie, and is confident he can do a great job against Celtic, despite only debuting for Rangers on Tuesday.

The former Newcastle man and ex-England youth international enthused of the Scotland youth international: “I think he has got a massive future. If he keeps doing what he’s doing and stays on the right path I don’t see why he can’t be whatever he wants to be.

“He is a composed centre-half, is incredible with both feet and for his age he’s very mature. You could see the other night he dealt with Conor Sammon, who is one of the big men in this league, quite well.

“I don’t see why he won’t be up there at the top in the years to come. That is why these lads are at the club. They’re not at Rangers just to be a spare part.

“They’re here because they are good young players. They are ready to step in. I am guessing that is why he has been around the building. He will have been learning a lot from Bruno. I have got no doubt that if he does have to play he will be fine.”