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Scottish Cup final 2024: Celtic v Rangers preview by Tom English

If Clement was picking from a full deck it would be an easier argument to make, but he is not. He has had to start seven different defenders in the last three games and seven goals have been conceded.

He played a midfielder, Dujon Sterling, as an emergency centre-half midway through the last meeting with Celtic. Now he is sweating on the fitness of another of his centre-backs, Leon Balogun.

Clement may have to gamble that left-back Ridvan Yilmaz and one of his main attackers, Abdallah Sima, will be fit to start. John Lundstram, the midfielder who got himself sent-off in the last game against Celtic, is available again.

Lundstram, who will most likely leave in the summer, has been the subject of huge debate among Rangers fans.

Some are prepared to forgive him his petulance at Celtic Park and want him in the middle of the park in the hope his experience and aggression can help stifle Celtic’s impressive trio.

Most, it would seem, do not want him anywhere near the team though. The next question is, however, who would play instead of him – and there are not a lot of appealing answers to that.

At his best, Ryan Jack would be a shoo-in for the battle to win the midfield. He was an unused substitute against Heart of Midlothian last week, but has not played in four months. Nicolas Raskin is available, but the Belgian has rarely impressed.

There are conundrums everywhere for Clement and that is even before he considers how to stop Daizen Maeda inflicting more woe on his captain, James Tavernier, another Rangers stalwart who might be heading for the exit door.

Confusion reigns at Ibrox while Rodgers continues to rule. Rangers have spoken about the need to be brave at Hampden but it would take guts to back against Rodgers, the leviathan of Lennoxtown, and his players.

Another trophy heading to the east end of Glasgow? Rangers have Cyriel Dessers. Celtic have serial winners.

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