Frank McAvennie heaped praise on Borna Barisic after it was revealed that the Rangers defender had recovered from a knock in time to face Celtic on Saturday. 

The former Hoops and St Mirren forward, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, said that the 27-year-old is “integral” to a Gers defence that has been “magnificent” so far this season.

Steven Gerrard was handed a boost yesterday after Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic revealed that the left-back was fit to feature against France tonight after recovering from injury.

Barisic failed to make Croatia’s matchday squads for wins over Switzerland and Sweden last week which led to fears that he would miss the first Old Firm clash of the 2020/21 campaign.

McAvennie urged the Celtic attack to put pressure on the Gers defence who will be “full of confidence”.

“It would have been a massive blow for Rangers to not have him fit,” he told Football Insider.

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“Barisic has been a big player for them and integral to a defence that has been the best in Scotland. They have been magnificent in that sense.

“They let two goals in last month when Hibs got at them and put them under pressure and that is why I think Celtic will play two up top at the weekend.

“We cannot allow their defenders to be strolling about Celtic Park because they will be full of confidence with or without Barisic. It will be a different prospect for that Rangers defence at the weekend.”

Dalic, as quoted by the Daily Record, said: “Barisic is fine now, we didn’t want to take any risks with him.

“He skipped those two games, but now he is completely ready and will be ready for the French.”

In other Rangers news, Noel Whelan reacts to unexpected update on Alfredo Morelos.