Rangers manager Michael Beale admits he has no positive injury news ahead of the Viaplay Cup final against Celtic but is eagerly anticipating the showpiece game at Hampden.
Beale had previously revealed that Malik Tillman, Ryan Jack and John Lundstram were all “big doubts” for the derby and says he hasn’t had any encouraging updates since.
He believes the team that will take to the field at the national stadium will be similar to the one that defeated Livingston 3-0 on Saturday.
“There’s no real positive news right now,” the Rangers manager said. “None of the boys returned to training today.
“We know we have a long injury list. We’ve had it for all the time that I’ve been back here and prior to that.
“I thought that the team you saw at the weekend would be very close to the type of team that we put out for this cup final and it performed well.
“If we get one or two additions back, that will be a bonus but I’m not counting on that right now.”
Asked if he would take a gamble if any of the players were close, Beale said: “Only if I thought they were able to get through it.
“It’s a final. I think we live in a fantasy world if we think players lace their boots up every week in a fantastic physical condition.
“It’s a final against a big rival and I have 100% faith one or two will declare themselves fit on Friday or Saturday. Whether they are 100% fit I will have to make the choice on that.
“This is why you build a squad and I think we are quite blessed in the level of players we have and can call upon.”
Rangers go into the game in strong form, having won 13 and drawn one of Beale’s 14 games in charge. However, Celtic have been in a similarly dominant mood, with Ange Postecoglou’s team having an identical run of results dating back to early December.
Beale thinks the game between two strong sides is one to relish and is hopeful his side can come out on top to lift the first silverware of the season.
He said: “It’s a huge game for our football club, the fans, the players, myself and my staff.
“It is a privilege to be involved in and I often contemplate that. It’s world-renowned and I believe it is the biggest rivalry in the world.
“It’s a fantastic final for the neutral and I don’t remember a game with both team in such fine form. So really looking forward to it and can’t wait for Sunday to finally arrive.
“There’s a lot of respect between the two sets of players and the management teams. I think it’s two very teams going head to head. Both teams have a lot of experience in these types of games.
“It is about going to perform on the day. We want to add to our trophy cabinet. I have the privilege of managing Rangers in this final. It is important we seize the day on Sunday.
“These are the days you want to be involved in.”
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