Alan Hutton has tipped Andy Halliday to make a rare start for Rangers against Young Boys after Borna Barisic’s previous comments about playing on artificial pitches.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Rangers defender and lifelong fan at Ibrox says that Barisic’s aversion to turning out on plastic turf means that it is likely to be Halliday who gets the nod to play at left-back on Thursday.
Barisic revealed earlier this year that he will not play on an astroturf pitch due to the injury problems he has suffered in the past, with the artificial surfaces causing the same issue to flair up.
With Swiss outfit Young Boys’ home ground making use of a plastic turf, Hutton says he sees Halliday coming in for the Croatian if he cannot take part in the Europa League tie.
Speaking to Football Insider: “I think you’re looking at Halliday as your easiest choice. He’s been there, done it, played on all the plastic pitches so I don’t think it’ll be a problem.
“I understand why he’s said that about the plastic pitches. I went through my career with boys who, when it was snowing and we’d train indoors, they just wouldn’t train indoors because of knee problems.
“It does make things like that flair up. I do understand why but at the end of the day it’s a massive game. Is it worth playing on it and taking the risk? I don’t know, that’s for Steven Gerrard and the player to decide but if they do need to change it I think it’s probably going to be Halliday.”
Halliday has been a backup option for Gerrard this season, featuring just six times in the club’s 18 games across all competitions, only four of those coming in the starting XI.
Both Barisic and Halliday have also had Jon Flanagan to battle with for a place on the left-hand side of the defence, the Croatian international having featured nine times this campaign.