A number of fringe players have been put on red alert after Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst dropped a selection hint in his pre-Lyon press conference on Wednesday morning [Rangers FC Twitter].
The Gers are taking on the French giants at the Groupama Stadium on Thursday and after much toing and froing, there will be some away fans in the ground.
There’s significant UEFA prize money still up for grabs but not much else at stake in Group A, with Lyon already through to the Last 16 and the Gers guaranteed second spot and therefore a playoff against a team dropping down from the Champions League.
As a result, while he wouldn’t reveal specific names, it appears that GvB is going to take the opportunity to rotate and give a number of fringe players a much-needed chance to impress.
“We have to wait until after this training before I have my final squad,” said the manager [Rangers FC Twitter].
“We will watch closely the physical state during training, we can change players and I am more than comfortable giving players minutes tomorrow evening.”
These words will have raised the hopes of a number of players who’ve been on the peripheries since GvB’s appointment, including Jon McLaughlin, Nathan Patterson, John Lundstram, Juninho Bacuna and Scott Wright.
It’s possible that all five of those players will come into the side and it’ll certainly boost their chances of featuring more regularly in the league if they can produce strong individual performances against a quality-packed Lyon side who have won all five of their group matches to date.