Rangers made a solid start to their Scottish Premiership title defence last weekend, seeing off Livingston 3-0 at Ibrox, but they could be in for a tough test on Saturday afternoon.
On the chalkboard
The Gers stormed to their first top-flight title in 10 years last season, finishing a whopping 25 points ahead of the pack.
Although Glasgow arch-rivals Celtic lost their opening league fixture, the additions of Joe Hart, Kyogo Furuhashi and James McCarthy have significantly strengthened their ranks.
Therefore, Rangers boss Gerrard must field his strongest XI over the weekend, reinstating key midfielder Glen Kamara into the Glasgow giants’ engine room.
The Finland international missed their midweek trip to Malmo in the third round of Champions League qualification through suspension, and the consequences of his absence were clear for all to see as the Gers fell to a 2-1 defeat which would’ve been worse only for Steven Davis’ last-gasp goal.
Should Gerrard start Kamara?
What Glen Kamara adds
Kamara was one of Gerrard’s standout performers as Rangers blew their domestic opposition away in 2020/21, recording an average passing accuracy of 90.7%, outperforming all of his current teammates in that metric.
In addition to that, he averaged 1.1 tackles, 0.9 interceptions and 0.8 key passes per league outing; whilst at Euro 2020, this increased to 1.3 tackles and 3.3 interceptions even though he faced semi-finalists Denmark and one of the favourites in Belgium in the group stage, as per WhoScored.
Neil McCann, his former manager at Dundee, lauded the 25-year-old after setting in well to life at Ibrox, complimenting his ability to take on instructions from his coaches.
“He isn’t a big, physical lad, but he’s made of iron and really strong. I knew immediately that he could handle the ball under pressure and not give it away, so he was perfect,” said the 46-year-old.
McCann added: “He’s a special talent… He’s lightning-quick, but he doesn’t show it. He’s a player who takes instruction well.”
The added security and drive which Kamara brings to Rangers’ midfield, alongside his careful use of the ball, could be decisive in cutting off the supply lines to the potent Lawrence Shankland if Gerrard’s charges are to pick up another three points at Tannadice. The Finn’s name should be one of the first on the team sheet over the weekend.