As Rangers released the starting XI for the final Scottish Premiership clash of the season against Hearts, eyes were darting to find one name in particular; Kemar Roofe.
The injury situation surrounding the Jamaican international striker is one of great frustration, something intensified by the fellow absence of talismanic forward Alfredo Morelos.
Rangers had to overcome RB Leipzig without a striker to reach the Europa League Final and fans are hoping that Roofe can return for the showpiece in Seville.
Manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst was coy pre-match about Roofe’s availability for the match with Hearts and the clash Eintracht Frankfurt but if the trip to Tynecastle is anything to go by, the omens are not good.
Kemar Roofe wasn’t even named on the substitutes bench let alone the starting XI meaning the striker’s last game for Rangers was the triumphant Scottish Cup semi-final v Celtic.
Rangers have played no fewer than seven matches since then and despite the forward’s best efforts, he has not been involved for the club since mid-April.
Kemar Roofe lacking Rangers minutes ahead of Europa League Final
It’s difficult to see the striker being pitched straight back into the starting XI for the trip to sunny Spain and perhaps Roofe’s exclusion from the match against Hearts tells its own story.
The Gers obviously want as many attacking options as possible for the match but it looks like as they did against Leipzig, Rangers will play without a recognised striker.
This is purely conjecture – we don’t know if Rangers are wrapping Kemar in cotton wool ahead of the game – but in a match of such intensity it’s hard to see someone who has been out of action for long being pitched straight back in.
However, as for Aaron Ramsey – another high-profile name there have been Final doubts around – the 3-1 victory over the Jambos was his second straight start.
The Welsh international got vital minutes in the legs in the victory and even if Kemar Roofe fails to make the cut for Rangers, the return of the Juventus loanee is a welcome sight.
Meanwhile, Rangers fan rockers SAINT PHNX have released a sneak peek of their new Europa League inspired anthem.