RANGERS boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst faces a possible selection nightmare for the rescheduled trip to take on Celtic at Parkhead.

The Dutchman will lead his side to Celtic Park on Wednesday, February 2 for a 7.45pm kick-off after the winter break was brought forward.

The pause in Scottish Premiership fixture will begin after the fixtures on Boxing Day meaning the original January 2 date for the derby was shifted.

While the move could allow fans back into matches in full after the three-week review on circuit-breaker restrictions, with 500-capacity limit, it could leave Van Bronckhorst without three key men.

Joe Aribo, Leon Balogun and Calvin Bassey are all expected to be called up to the Nigeria squad for the African Cup of Nations which takes place across January and February.

The tournament begins with group stage matches being played between January 9 and January 20.

Last 16 mathdays then run from January 23-26 with the quarter-finals on January 29-30.

The semi-finals then take place on February 2-3, with Rangers due to play Celtic at Parkhead on February 3 also.

The third-place playoff and AFCON final take place on February 6.

Should Nigeria qualify to the quarter-finals it could mean Balogun, Aribo and Bassey all miss the Glasgow derby match through international commitments.

It would leave them just three days to get back to Scotland, pass Covid protocols and play in the fixture. 

If the national side were to advance to the semi-finals then they would be in Cameroon on the day their team-mates face Celtic.

The news comes as a blow for Van Bronckhorst who had previously confirmed the trio would be available against Celtic before jetting out to the tournament.

But there could be hope yet of having the Super Eagles stars for the derby with an SPFL rule allowing Rangers to request a postponement if they are missing three or more players.

Rule G7 states: "A Club shall be entitled to apply to the Board for the postponement of any Official Match where three or more of its Players who would otherwise have participated in such match are unavailable through international selection and, following receipt of such an application, the Board may postpone and rearrange the relevant Official Match in accordance with Rule G3."