Bongani Zungu to start v Benfica?

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GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 29: Bongani Zungu of Rangers warms up during the UEFA Europa League Group D stage match between Rangers and Lech Poznan at Ibrox Stadium on October 29, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Robert Perry - Pool/Getty Images)

As Rangers fans are only too well aware, Steven Gerrard’s latest signing Bongani Zungu was included in the group stage squad for the Europa League, which meant only one thing:

He’s being used in this tournament.

The question is whether that will happen tonight.

We suggested a shock start for him in the Old Firm, but after his absence from the squad instead, he was included on the bench v Killie.

But of course Ryan Jack’s excellent performance at Rugby Park, and Glen Kamara and Steven Davis’ continuing fine form means the South African is going to have to wait his turn.

Or is it?

Form means little under this manager – which is not to say he isn’t interested in player playing well.

No, we’ve seen bang-in-form Glen Kamara rested, we’ve seen Borna Barisic given a break, and we’ve seen Arfield benched now and then.

Gerrard has a fantastic squad where even 55-yard £5M man Kemar Roofe isn’t even close to being a regular starter yet.

Our point? Zungu will get involved rotationally like everyone else, and it doesn’t mean he’s suddenly first-pick and anyone is axed.

The on-loan Amiens man may well start tonight, then be benched for the weekend – the whole point of Gerrard’s management these days is to use the whole squad and stop overusing players.

With the obvious exception of Tavernier and Goldson, who will always start whatever form they’re in, all players in this team are subject to rotation and that includes midfield.

Jack’s performance v Killie showed he’s a serious option again, after a period of slightly subdued displays. And that’s good timing – he’s fighting for his place in light of Kamara, Davis and now Zungu.

Will the South African play tonight?

Don’t bet against it.