Rangers have been boosted ahead of their Europa League clash with Lyon, with three of the Ligue 1 side’s players ruled out of the game at Ibrox.
The Lowdown: Rangers face tough European challenge
The Gers open their European group stage account next Thursday, with Lyon making the trip to Ibrox for an intriguing clash.
Steven Gerrard’s men have to get over the disappointment of not getting into the Champions League, instead enjoying a strong run in domestic football’s second-biggest European competition.
The Latest: Gers boosted ahead of game
With perhaps the most enticing encounter of the group looming, Gerrard has been boosted by the news that Lyon trio Lucas Paqueta, Bruno Guimaraes and Tino Kadewere have been refused permission to play, as confirmed by journalist Robin Bairner on Twitter.
The Scottish Government has stepped in and put its foot down, due to the players performing in ‘high-risk countries’ during the international break.
Paqueta, in particular, is described as ‘indispensable‘ for Lyon, so he will be a huge miss for the visitors.
The Verdict: Government do Gers a favour
A difficult assignment has undoubtedly been made easier for Rangers, with Paqueta’s absence a real boost for Gerrard and co – he scored nine goals and registered five assists in Ligue 1 last season.
The Brazil international has four goals for club and country already this term too, averaging a dangerous 2.5 shots and 1.5 dribbles per game in the French top flight.
A winning start to the group stage would be ideal for Gerrard’s side, potentially taking the pressure off later on in the round and allowing them to focus on Scottish Premiership commitments instead.
It looks like the government’s decision to stick to their guns and not make exceptions for elite athletes will benefit the Gers next week.
In other news, one Rangers player is set to miss his side’s upcoming games. Find out who it is here.
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience