Scottish star Barry Bannan expecting 'an edge' to friendly when Sheffield Wednesday welcome Rangers to Hillsborough

Barry Bannan is looking forward to having Rangers at Hillsborough on Sunday
Barry Bannan is looking forward to having Rangers at Hillsborough on Sunday
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Sheffield Wednesday's Barry Bannan says he and his team mates can't wait to take on Rangers at Hillsborough on Sunday.

There will be plenty of interest in the Owls' dressing room for the match, with many of the squad having Scottish links.

Steven Fletcher, Ross Wallace, George Boyd, Jordan Rhodes and, of course, Bannan, are or were all internationals north of the border, Liam Palmer played for the under 21s while Gary Hooper and Glenn Loovens both turned out for Rangers' rivals Celtic. Carlos Carvalhal is also flanked by Scottish coach Lee Bullen on the sidelines.

Bannan, who was a Celtic youth player before moving to Aston Villa as a teenager, says the clash provides the perfect preparation for the upcoming Championship season with a big crowd and a big atmosphere expected on S6.

And the 27 year-old says this will not be the usual run-of-the-mill pre-season encounter.

“It might be a friendly but when you get to that stage you want games with a bit of an edge to them," Bannan told Daily Record. "The Rangers game will certainly have that and then some.

“There are a few Scottish lads and some boys in the dressing room who have played in Old Firm games. They’ll know what it’s all about and I’m sure a few of them will be hated on the day by some of the Rangers fans.

“Sometimes you go into friendlies and they’re a bit quiet and a bit boring. There’s no chance of that in this game!

“Rangers will probably sell out their allocation – we’ve heard 10,000 are coming – and our fans will be out in numbers as well. It will be perfect preparation.”

He added: “When the manager told us we’d be playing Rangers it was one we were looking forward to right away. It’s towards the end of pre-season and at a time when the manager will be looking to put his team together. It’s right at the business end so no doubt we’ll play a strong team and so will they.

Gary Hooper celebrates after scoring against Rangers for Celtic

Gary Hooper celebrates after scoring against Rangers for Celtic

“Pre-season games are about building fitness but you also want matches to test you. It doesn’t come much bigger than a game against Rangers. By that stage you are looking to win games and they will be no different.”

The Ibrox men beat Watford 2-1 in a closed-doors friendly on Wednesday night and boss Pedro Caixinha, a compatriot of Carvalhal, is hoping they put their best foot forward again when the turnstiles are opened in Yorkshire.

He told the club's website: "Over the next couple of days we will recover the boys. We felt some touches along the game, so we have three days now to totally recover them.

"With these levels of confidence, we just need to prepare the approach for Sunday at a stadium which will be crowded with 10,000 of our supporters.

Rangers manager PedroCaixinha with new signing Graham Dorrans

Rangers manager PedroCaixinha with new signing Graham Dorrans

"We want to show to them we are growing as a team, we are getting the momentum and we are getting to a good level. We want to show also we are getting ready to start the league - that's the main point, that's the main idea and the boys are getting that."

Glenn Loovens and Gary Hooper celebrate a Celtic goal

Glenn Loovens and Gary Hooper celebrate a Celtic goal

Steven Fletcher in action for Scotland

Steven Fletcher in action for Scotland

Glenn Loovens after winning the League Cup in 2011 with Celtic

Glenn Loovens after winning the League Cup in 2011 with Celtic