Rangers duo walking suspension tightrope ahead of Europa League tie against Antwerp
If either player is cautioned in the first leg of the last 32 tie against Royal Antwerp in Belgium on Thursday night, they would automatically be ruled out of the return fixture at Ibrox on February 25.
Roofe is currently serving a two-match domestic ban which was applied retrospectively by the Scottish FA for his challenge on St Johnstone midfielder Murray Davidson at the start of the month. The English striker subsequently missed Rangers’ 1-0 win over Kilmarnock at Ibrox last Saturday and will also be unavailable for the league game at home to Dundee United next Sunday.
Europa League suspensions are incurred by any player who collects three bookings in the tournament. Roofe was booked in both of Rangers’ Group D matches against Standard Liege, the first yellow card administered for his celebration after scoring the wonder goal which sealed the 2-0 win in Belgium in October.
Nigerian international defender Balogun was also booked twice in the group stage, both in Rangers’ games against Lech Poznan.
Yellow cards which count towards suspensions are wiped from the slate by UEFA on completion of the quarter-finals.
Royal Antwerp have four players on the verge of a ban ahead of Rangers’ visit this week - defender Abdoulaye Seck, club captain Faris Haroun, midfielder Birger Verstraete and winger Opuku Ampomah would all miss the second leg in Glasgow if they are booked on Thursday.
Antwerp are without striker Didier Lamkel Ze for the first leg as he serves an outstanding one-match suspension.
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