Sunday, 16 September 2018

Absentees pile up as Rangers lose four+ players for Villarreal?

Rangers have been hit with a significant blow for Thursday’s UEL curtain-raiser against Villarreal with a massive four+ man potential loss for the clash.

Ryan Jack, who missed yesterday’s comfortable win over Dundee, is a huge doubt with the calf knock he picked up for Scotland, while Ovie Ejaria’s similar absence yesterday through injury has him as a big question mark as well.

As for Alfredo Morelos and Jon Flanagan; confusion surrounds whether these two will be available for the match – a number of sources have quoted UEFA code 48.01:

"48.01 As a rule, a player who is sent off the field of play is suspended for the next match in a UEFA club competition (i.e. UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League or UEFA Super Cup). In case of serious offences, the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body is entitled to augment this punishment, including by extending it to other competitions."

And there’s a great amount of ambiguity over whether the fact they were both second yellowed in the play offs means it’s rescinded for the group stage.

Quite honestly we don’t know!

But Ejaria and Jack’s injuries are not exactly welcome, and with Graham Dorrans not yet fully fit and Jordan Rossiter excluded from the UEL squad, midfield options are a little thinner than perhaps we’d like – only Arfield and Coulibaly are currently available of the main XI with Ross McCrorie ready to be called in if needed. Andy Halliday is of course on standby and in his defence had a fine match yesterday. But it was only Dundee. And at the back we’re unclear exactly what new signing Gareth McAuley’s fitness levels currently are.

It will be a much stiffer test on Thursday than the worst team in the SPL (sorry Neil) so the players will need to be on something higher than their A-game to get anything from Spain.

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