Steven Gerrard has made a colossal statement today dropping captain James Tavernier and starting fan-favourite Nathan Patterson for the visit of Hibs.
The manager has been under pressure from all corners to give Tavernier a rest, and give Patterson his chance, and has finally relented, with Connor Goldson returning to take up captaincy duties in Tavernier’s absence.
The captain is benched, and the starting XI also sees Steven Davis back on the bench too with the in-form John Lundstram restored to the XI for what is easily Rangers’ most important domestic fixture of the season so far.
After his troubles in CB in midweek, Calvin Bassey makes way entirely for Borna Barisic, and Leon Balogun’s partnership with Goldson is restored in the middle.
Up front it’s a bright and breezy Wright, Morelos and Hagi combo which is a very popular pick with many fans, and the XI is definitely a dramatic change from the manager who needs more energy, more form, and more quality in his XI.
If ever Gerrard bowed to fan pressure to give the majority what they wanted to see, this XI is close to it.
We do question the selection of Barisic over Bassey, but aside that, from what is available, this is pretty much the best XI the manager could select.
We’ll see how it unfolds at Ibrox this afternoon.