Rangers set to be without 8 players against Napoli but duo to be fit - possible starting line-up

Giovanni van Bronckhorst will be without eight first-team stars as Rangers face Napoli in their penultimate Champions League group stage match.
Rangers face Napoli in the Champions League. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)Rangers face Napoli in the Champions League. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)
Rangers face Napoli in the Champions League. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

The team go into the fixture with the Serie A leaders off the back of two performances which saw them booed off at Ibrox, a 1-0 win over Championship Dundee in the League Cup and a 1-1 draw against Livingston. To have a realistic chance of finishing third and dropping into the Europa League they will require a result at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Rangers will, however, have to do without a raft of important players. Connor Goldson, Filip Helander, Ianis Hagi, John Souttar, Ryan Jack, Tom Lawrence and Nnamdi Ofoborh all remain out. The game comes too soon for Glen Kamara but there is more positive news surrounding both Leon King and Rabbi Matondo.

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"Kamara didn't make it,” Van Bronckhorst said. “It's too soon in his recovery but hopefully back for the weekend. Matondo is fit after a small injury at the weekend and has travelled with us. Leon King is better, he was feeling sick on Saturday at half-time and had to come off.”

It does limit the Rangers manager’s options with the majority of the team picking itself. A number of supporters will likely want to see Ridvan Yilmaz start ahead of Borna Barisic at left-back. The Turkish international was an unused substitute against Livingston but has offered encouragement when he has featured recently. While there is a decision to be made on the right of the attack and whether either Fashion Sakala or Matondo are selected to add pace on the counter-attack. The latter was brought on at half-time on Saturday but then replaced by the former with 12 minutes remaining. In big Europa League matches last season, Van Bronckhorst wasn't shy in turning to Scott Wright either.

It would be a surprise if the Dutchman didn't make changes to the starting XI from the weekend’s draw with Livingston with Malik Tillman and Barisic perhaps the likeliest to drop out.

Possible Rangers XI: McGregor; Tavernier, King, Davies, Barisic; Davis, Lunstram, Arfield; Sakala, Colak, Kent.



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