Date: 31st December 2016 at 11:55am
Written by:

By Amir Mir

Gordon Strachan has stated that Rangers captain Lee Wallace will be a “huge miss” during the Old Firm clash against Celtic.

Gers manager Mark Warburton was forced to drop the 29-year-old left-back from his squad after he failed to recover from injury.

Left-back Wallace missed his sides 1-1 draw at St Johnstone on Wednesday as he is now set to miss the crucial fixture against Brendan Rodgers side at Ibrox.

Scotland manager Strachan delivered his verdict on Wallace’s absence and explained why he is so important for Warburton’s side.

“You want Wallace behind you,” Strachan told Sky Sports. “He has been their most influential player, he’s played in this fixture, he’s played in big fixtures, he played against England recently and played terrifically.

“You need him there because I think he makes more chances than any other play for them. He keeps popping up in the same areas to make chances and create space. I think it is a huge miss.”

Wallace has played 24 Scottish Premiership and League Cup games for the Ibrox club this season, scoring one goal and providing five assists in the league.

He played both matches when Rodgers side clinched two victories against their Glasgow counterparts this season.

The first was a 5-1 thrashing in the league in Septemeber where striker Moussa Dembele hit a hat-trick, before a 1-0 win at Hampden in the Scottish League Cup semi-final.

The away side go into this match unbeaten in all their domestic competitions, including winning 18 of their 19 league games.

Former Liverpool boss Rodgers has opted to start Dembele up front against the Gers, with Leigh Griffiths on the bench.

By contrast, Warburton has decided to pick summer signing Joe Garner, who has scored three goals this season over the powerful Martyn Waghorn.

In other Rangers team news, Chris Sutton has slammed this Gers senior figure for talking nonsense.