Clement delivers key Ridvan injury update for Rangers

Clement delivers key Ridvan injury update for Rangers
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - MARCH 22: Ridvan Yilmaz of Turkey in action during the international friendly match between Hungary and Turkiye at Puskas Arena on March 22, 2024 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by David Balogh/Getty Images)

As predicted, Rangers manager Philippe Clement did not reveal recovering left back Ridvan Yilmaz’ status, only that he was a 50/50 to play on Sunday.

Clement almost certainly already knows whether the young Turk is available or not, but did indeed use canniness to evade stating one way or the other, leading Celtic guessing as to whether Yilmaz will be in the starting XI come the weekend.

The debate of course is about whether he, Croatia’s Borna Barisic or Jamaica’s new call up Dujon Sterling will occupy that berth, and naturally fans’ first choice is the ex-Besiktas man.

But with his recent injury on international duty, he was ruled out of Hibs, and was regarded a big doubt for this Sunday.

Clement did nothing to clear it up, as we expected.

He said:

“Ridvan not sure yet, we will see tomorrow and make a decision.”

Bingo, he was never going to say ‘won’t play’ or ‘will play’.

This is a very good tactic, and a predictable one – Celtic simply have no idea which way this will go – will it be Ridvan, Borna or even Sterling at LB?

This means they can’t plan a particular gameplan full on, and will have to have a few scenarios in mind based on the setup, because Ridvan and Borna play a touch differently and have very different threats – Ridvan much better at attacking and offering punchy runs in the middle, Borna better overlapping and crossing from more acute angles.

In short, Clement has left them to guess and that’s smart.

Equally, unless Brenda has revealed whether or not McGregor and Palma are fit, Clement doesn’t know either way which players will be in the visiting XI so that comes down to both managers keeping cards close to their chests.

But what matters is what Rangers do, and this was the best move from Clement.

What’s the possibility he really doesn’t know? Unlikely. We’d say he’s 80% sure of whether Ridvan can or can’t play this weekend.

But he’s not going to show his cards is he?

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