By Alex McLeish

30th Sep, 2021 | 3:59pm

McLeish tips Rangers youngster for rare start v Sparta Prague after Goldson update

Alex McLeish has tipped Nathan Patterson to start for Rangers against Sparta Prague with Connor Goldson reportedly out of action.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Gers boss suggested James Tavernier could move over into the middle of the defence.

As reported by the Daily Record, Goldson is absent from the squad who travelled to the Czech Republic for today’s clash (30th September).

Steven Gerrard hinted at his pre-match press conference players could miss out due to Covid-19 tests taken this week.

The centre-back’s absence leaves the Ibrox boss with just one recognised senior centre-back in Leon Balogun.

Filip Helander is out until December with injury, while Jack Simpson is not registered for the Europa League.

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McLeish admitted Goldson’s absence would be a big blow for Rangers’ “momentum”.

He suggested Tavernier could fill in at centre-back, with Patterson, 19, coming in at right-back.

McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “It looks like Steven will really need to look at the versatility of the players he’s got there.

“It’s possible to captain can go in there, James Tavernier and Patterson would then fill in the full-back position.

“Does it look that way? Have they got any other options? Stevie will know the versatility of the players.

“I’m sure whoever comes in won’t let the team down, although it does disrupt the momentum.”

Tavernier has played as a centre-back on rare occasions since joining Rangers.

He has started 10 times in a possible 14 games this season.

Meanwhile, Patterson has only made three appearances across all competitions this term.

In other news, pundit tips Rangers to sell Glen Kamara in new year after deal agreed.