Defence test as Stevie dips into Rangers’ reserves for Lyon

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Defence test as Stevie dips into Rangers’ reserves for Lyon
St Johnstone v Rangers - Scottish Premiership - McDiarmid Park Rangers Jack Simpson gestures during the Scottish Premiership match at McDiarmid Park, Perth. Picture date: Wednesday April 21, 2021. Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder. PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xRobxCaseyx 59324828

Steven Gerrard is very realistically looking at a Jack Simpson and Leon Balogun defence for Thursday after expressing huge doubts over both Connor Goldson and Filip Helander’s respective availability.

Goldson is to come out of isolation tomorrow, according to Ibrox Noise sources, while Helander has a massive bandage and is being assessed fully by the doctor, but it doesn’t look good for the Swede at all.

And Stevie has conceded plan B is very much Balogun and Simpson as he weighs up the few options he has:

“I’m hoping Connor will be available for Thursday but if not we’ll go with Jack and Leon who are more than capable.”

While Balogun had a sensational Old Firm, his performance v St Johnstone was a little less convincing, mostly due to the complete non-communication with partner on the day Helander.

So given he’s never played with Jack Simpson either, Rangers’ defence could be a touch vulnerable with the likes of Moussa Dembele coming to Ibrox this week.

Lyon have had a solid start to their season, two wins, two draws and a loss, but Dembele is joint top scorer in France and will be a clear handful for any of Rangers’ defenders, never mind an untested duo.

But these are the kind of matches which make players, and if Simpson can rise to the challenge along with his Nigerian colleague, if it comes to that, it could be a night to remember for Rangers fans.

We will see who’s available come this week.

PS we’re aware Simpson is not in the Europa squad list, but we believe Stevie is referring to an emergency registration.

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