Noel Whelan fears it would be a “huge blow” to Rangers if Borna Barisic was ruled out of the trip to Celtic this weekend through injury.

The former Aberdeen and Leeds United striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, claimed that the 27-year-old would be “massively missed” were he to be ruled out.

Barisic has failed to make the matchday squad for Croatia’s wins over Switzerland and Sweden, making him a major doubt for the first Old Firm clash of the season.

The left-back limped off with a knock during the Gers 2-0 victory over Ross County before the international break.

His 12 appearances for Steven Gerrard’s side this season have yielded one goal and six assists, while he has also been integral to the Gers boasting the best defensive record in the Scottish Premiership.

When asked by Football Insider if his absence would be a major concern for Gerrard, Whelan said: “It would be a huge blow.

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“You need experience internationals when it comes to Old Firm games and Barisic is one of them. You need a level head, somebody who can handle the pressure of the big occasion.

“He would be massively missed. That is for sure. You need experience and composure for Old Firm games because they do not come any bigger.”

Speaking on Barisic’s injury before the internationals, Gary McAllister said: “Borna took a blow just below his shin pad but it’s nothing serious – just some stud marks.”

The Teddy Bears travel to Celtic Park on Saturday lunchtime as they look to open a lead in the title race.

In other Rangers news, Danny Mills in awe of player after “incredible” development.