Four Rangers players, maybe 6, missing for Hearts semi final

Four Rangers players, maybe 6, missing for Hearts semi final
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JULY 22: Benjamin Davies of Rangers during the pre-season friendly match between Rangers and SV Hamburg at Ibrox Stadium on July 22, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Philippe Clement has confirmed that Rangers definitively have four players out, while two are 50/50 to make Sunday’s semi-final v Hearts.

Rabbi Matondo, Kemar Roofe, John Souttar and Nico Raskin are all out for sure, while Tom Lawrence and Ben Davies are both a toss of a coin to make it back into the reckoning.

This means it is likely that Leon Balogun will remain at the heart of defence beside Connor Goldson when Clement takes his men to Hampden for a place in the final of the League Cup.

Ibrox Noise had previously covered Davies’ ascent to apparent first pick under Clement, and the manager had this to say on the ex-Preston man’s absence from Dens:

“He had a small problem. The medical staff told me it could be a risk to play him. I don’t want to take risks in those moments to then lose a player for several weeks.”

As it was, Balogun’s outstanding display may have given Clement something to think about – Davies, whatever fans think of him, ultimately is very similar to Goldson, in style and substance, and we don’t feel he’s a major foil for the vice-captain, but if Clement wants him in there when fit, that’s what he gets.

That said, Balogun’s excellent performance midweek covered Davies’ absence and then some, but it doesn’t stop the lefty issue which Clement may be interested in resolving – Davies remains the only left-sided CB on the roster which gives him an advantage.

But time will tell who of Balogun and Davies plays if both are fit. Or will John Souttar be the man.

It’s Clement who makes those calls… because we’re pretty sure Goldson is back to being 100% untouchable and his place is assured rather than him competing with those other three for places.

But it remains early in Clement’s reign – he is still assessing and Goldson’s invulnerability to the chop may change.

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