Rangers manager Mark Warburton is counting on Saturday's friendly against Linfield to keep his men sharp for the first Old Firm encounter of the season after the international break.

The Gers played out a 1-1 draw away at Kilmarnock on Friday and now have no competitive match until a trip to Celtic Park to face Brendan Rodgers' Celtic on Saturday 10th September, after the international break.

Warburton is keen for his players to stay as sharp as possible and an arranged friendly against Linfield on Saturday will be used to bridge the gap over the international break.

They meet the Northern Irish side for a 1pm kick off and the Rangers manager is looking to keep his players' intensity going.

"We’ve got a gap of two weeks so the boys will have four days off", Warburton was quoted as saying by the Herald Scotland.


"But we also have to keep their match fitness and intensity up. So we’re looking forward to going to Belfast and having a good encounter.

"It’s a balancing act this game as you don’t want to pick up any injuries. But you could wrap them in cotton wool and they lose their intensity and focus", Warburton explained.

"We go into this game looking to maintain levels of fitness. You can do a lot on the training ground but we saw in the cup final that sometimes these gaps are too long.

"So the players will have four days off and then back to training on Thursday and Friday, travel, game and then back in, and we will go from there."

Only one Rangers player has been included in the Scotland squad for the country's first World Cup qualifier, away to Malta, Barrie McKay.