Rangers defender David Bates believes Sunday’s Old Firm clash with Celtic at Ibrox can help him force his way into Alex McLeish’s Scotland squad.

Bates has recently been tipped for a call-up by Gers boss Graeme Murty, according to the Scottish Sun, after becoming a mainstay for the Light Blues and keeping Euro 2016 winner Bruno Alves out of the starting XI.

The former Raith Rovers defender has been solid since coming into the side in December and thinks playing in such a huge game is an opportunity to “prove yourself” as a top level player.

“Games like Sunday are a platform to prove yourself as a player and to make it into the international team,” Bates said, as quoted by the club’s official Twitter account.

Bates as made 16 appearances so far for the Gers this season and has started the last 10 Rangers games – winning nine as the Light Blues have closed the gap to Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership to six points.

The 21-year-old is playing well beyond expectations and the Gers will be desperate to tie him down to a new contract before his existing deal ends in the summer.

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Football Insider verdict:

Bates has really impressed since coming into the side but it might be a bit early to be thinking about a Scotland call-up although it could come for the defender before too long. Scotland are hardly blessed with a wealth of quality defenders but there are a few who could make a good argument to be ahead of Bates. The end of season trip across the Atlantic for the Tartan Army might be a possibility and if the 21-year-old is to make the pool, it can only bode well for the Gers and their hopes of ending their seven-year wait for a major trophy.

In other Rangers news, this Arsenal star has claimed he would rather see this Gers fringe player score against Celtic than win the lottery.

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