RANGERS have received a triple selection boost ahead of the Old Firm clash with Celtic next month.

Boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst has confirmed that three of his key men - Leon Balogun, Calvin Bassey and Joe Aribo - will be eligible to feature at Parkhead before joining up with the Nigeria squad for the African Cup of Nations.

There were fears that all three would miss the Parkhead showdown to prepare for the tournament that will be staged over four weeks in Cameroon from January 9.

Van Bronckhorst said: "They will be here with the team, 100 per cent. For me, it was already clear that we would release them if needed after the Old Firm game.

"So we have the full squad until we go into the winter break."

The loss of Aribo in particular would have been a damaging blow for Rangers given his fine form since Van Bronckhorst's appointment at Ibrox.

The playmaker would miss the Old Firm fixture if he picks up a booking against Dundee United and Van Bronckhorst will carefully consider his team selection.

He said: “You are preparing the game for [Saturday], but you obviously have your plans for the next games if possible, especially if you have players one card from suspension.

“Also physically you have to watch the load for the players. You have to take everything into account.”

Rangers will be without long-term absentees Filip Helander, Ryan Jack and Kemar Roofe for the United tie as they bid to extend their lead at the top of the table.

But there is positive news on the fitness of Borna Barisic after he was forced off against St Johnstone in midweek through illness.

Van Bronckhorst said: "He was here today (Friday). He was better than he was during the game. So he’s OK.

"We still have some doubts but we will check them [on Saturday] and we will make decisions on which players to start."