Rangers defender George Edmundson faces a race against time to be declared available for tonight’s Europa League showdown against Young Boys.
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As reported on rangers.co.uk, manager Steven Gerrard said in yesterday’s pre-match press conference that the 22-year-old missed training on Wednesday due to illness but is hopeful of recovering in time to feature against the Swiss side at Ibrox.
Gerrard also confirmed that fellow centre-back Filip Helander, as well as midfielder Steven Davis, will miss the Light Blues’ concluding Europa League group match later. [via rangers.co.uk]
The foot injury suffered by Helander could present an opportunity for Edmundson to come into the team or at least be included among the substitutes, if he can shake off his illness in time for kick-off.
Even if the 22-year-old is available, it doesn’t appear likely that he would be named in the starting line-up, given that he hasn’t featured for Rangers’ first team since early October and has only made four starts all season (as per TransferMarkt).
Edmundson impressed quite a few observers on his last appearance against Hamilton a couple of months ago, though. Hugh Burns, a regular commentator on Rangers TV, said that he was “oozing class” in that game and provides quicker build-up play than fellow ‘Gers centre-back Nikola Katic (as per Rock Sport Radio on Twitter).
With Helander ruled out, Katic and Connor Goldson would seem the likeliest centre-back pairing tonight, judging by the number of minutes played by Rangers’ defenders this season.
Goldson came in for strong criticism from many ‘Gers supporters after his display against Aberdeen last week though, with Ayush Chaurasia of The 4th Official saying that he “was all over the place defensively for both the goals” scored by the home side at Pittodrie that night.
He also looked shaky in last Sunday’s Betfred Cup final defeat to Celtic, with James Benson writing in the Daily Express that he was “not at his best and spaces opened up between him and Filip Helander as the game wore on”.
The probability is that Edmundson wouldn’t start tonight even if he was fully fit and, having missed yesterday’s training session due to illness, Gerrard isn’t likely to throw him straight into the team tonight if he is available to feature.
If he can shake off that illness, however, perhaps the manager should make a bold decision to start him in place of Goldson, given the erratic nature of his recent performances and the impression Edmundson has made whenever he has featured.
Rangers fans, would you like to see Edmundson starting tonight if he recovers from his illness? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
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