Rangers

Nathan Patterson will drop out of the Rangers starting XI upon James Tavernier’s return from injury. 

That is according to ex-Scottish Premiership forward Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the impressive 19-year-old right-back.

Patterson has featured in Rangers’ last eight matches in the absence of Tavernier.

Rangers

But the skipper is nearing a return ahead of the Scottish Cup clash with Celtic on Sunday, according to Steven Gerrard.

Quoted by Glasgow Live, the manager said: “James has again had a good couple of days since we last spoke and he’s pushing hard to be involved at the weekend.”

Whelan insisted that Tavernier will come straight back into the side.

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“I think he’ll have to take a backseat,” he told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.

“When you’ve got your club captain who’s been so influential over the past years, it’s very hard not to put them straight back into the side.

“The youngsters come in and they do a great job but I think Gerrard knows how important Tavernier is to the team.

“I think most of the players do as well so I don’t think there would be too many complaints with Tavernier coming back in.

“It’s fantastic that he’s putting in performances and showing the manager that this position’s covered and that he doesn’t need to go out and buy another one.

“That’s what it’s all about, competition for places. The young man is going to be learning a lot from Tavernier as well.”

Rangers have appealed the SFA’s decision to ban Patterson and four other players for six matches for breaching Covid protocols in February.

The appeal date means Patterson is eligible to face Celtic on Sunday.

In other news, Rangers are set to rival Watford and Southampton in pursuit of Premier League speed machine.