Rangers FC have momentum on their side, but will this international break bring that to a halt ahead of a massive derby?
International football may be the perfect time for several players to meet up with compatriots and friends, to get some minutes on the pitch, or even to catch a few rays of sunshine if they’re lucky enough.
For many football fans, however, it is often seen as a burden as opposed to a blessing, with supporters eager to see the return of club football as soon as possible.
In an extremely rare occurrence, it’s one of the things that fans and managers can actually agree on, with both groups keen for their star players to return home unharmed.
But it’s not only any potential injuries that will cause this nervousness, with the miles and hours spent travelling across the globe a further unwelcome factor. One of the main sites of woe during this particular break will be at Ibrox.
Many fantastic individual displays have earned over a dozen Rangers players with call-ups to their national teams, but it has come at a mental cost for Gerrard, who will be anxious for the safe return of a large chunk of his squad.
The Gers are yet to be beaten in the new campaign, boasting 26 points from their opening ten matches. Gerrard’s side also boast the best goal difference in the league, scoring 24 and conceding just three.
The boss will undoubtedly want his key men in similarly scintillating form when the Scottish Premiership resumes in mid-October, with their next game none other than the first Old Firm of the season.
Crucial members of the squad will all likely feature for their nations over the break, especially given that most teams will be playing at least twice over the coming days.
Attackers Alfredo Morelos, Ianis Hagi and Cedric Itten have received call-ups from Colombia, Romania and Switzerland respectively, with Northern Ireland duo Steven Davis and Jordan Jones also set to be in action.
Moreover, all of the momentum that has been carefully garnered in recent months simply cannot be undone.
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The latest break may even come as a double blow for Rangers, with fierce rivals Celtic now given the opportunity to regroup after their unconventional start to the campaign.
Neil Lennon’s outfit have certainly not been playing their best football, but the manager needn’t worry, with his side also unbeaten this season.
But narrow wins against Dundee United, St Mirren and Livingston will provide Lennon with at least some worry, with the latest stoppage time victory at St Johnstone adding further cause for concern.