McCoist welcomes return of key men for Old Firm clash

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Rangers manager Ally McCoist is hoping for a selection headache ahead of this weekend’s Old Firm derby with a number of players expected to return to action in time for the visit of Celtic.

Nikica Jelavic, pictured below, missed the victory at Dundee United with a knee problem but should be fit for Sunday’s highly-anticipated clash at Ibrox. Sasa Papac and Alejandro Bedoya should also be available, while Lee Wallace has a chance of recovering from a hamstring problem in time, with McCoist seeking his first win as manager in the famous fixture. He said: “I am very hopeful that Nikica’s injury will clear up in time for Sunday. It wasn’t anything major that kept him out at United, it was a slight niggle in his knee.

“We hope he can rejoin training and if so that will be encouraging for us. Lee Wallace is improving but we are not sure if he will be ready for Sunday. There has been an improvement with Davie Weir and also Jamie Ness. And we are hopeful that Sasa Papac will be with us for the weekend. Alejandro Bedoya had a calf strain last week and that’s what kept him out of Tannadice but he is better this week and hopefully he will come into contention at the weekend.

“So the treatment room has been busy but we hope it is quietening down now. We could have some choices to make on Sunday and that’s what we are hoping for. You have to say that the lads did well at the weekend but we did want a bigger squad to give us competition for places and when everyone is fit that will be the case.”

Meanwhile, owner Craig Whyte has urged Rangers to ensure off-field issues do not have an impact on the game after the club’s finances came under the spotlight again.

He said: “The most important thing is that we are sitting top of the league at the moment and hopefully we can stay there on Sunday. Ally McCoist has the fans’ backing too and that’s what we all want. We want to try to win on Sunday and we want to try to win the SPL – we don’t want the focus on off-field issues.”