Rangers face a defensive crisis in the Czech Republic with the largely untested Calvin Bassey set to be pitched in against Sparta Prague in the Europa League.
There have been murmurs about the 20-year-old left-back being employed defensively in the past but now the Italian-born full-back is set to be tested at a very high level.
Alongside him, we suspect Leon Balogun will get the nod but Rangers may well be counting the cost of their Europa League squad registration in Prague this evening.
Fourth choice centre-back Jack Simpson is not in the club’s squad due to strict registration rules on homegrown players and this is part of the reason why Bassey is likely to play.
The main issue surrounds the absence of vice-captain and influential centre-back Connor Goldson. The defender did not travel to the Czech Republic although it remains unclear as to exactly why.
Goldson’s late absence could not possibly have come at a worse time with Swedish international Filip Helander currently on the treatment table and out until December at the earliest.
Ordinarily, Balogun and Simpson would be expected to deputise but with the ex-Bournemouth defender ineligible it leaves Rangers decidedly short at centre-back.
Rangers defensive crisis leaves club short of options
In terms of options, Bassey heads up an unconvincing list ahead of the important Group A clash.
Other options may include either James Tavernier or Nathan Patterson playing centre-half – something we truly cannot envisage happening – whilst B Team captain Kyle McClelland is a centre-back.
However, not only has the 19-year-old never played a competitive match for Rangers, but the defender also played 90 minutes of the U19s 3-0 win over Hammarby in midweek.
Another option could be a midfielder dropping back into defence with the likes of the physical John Lundstram a potential option here.
But by doing so you potentially weaken both areas of the pitch instead of taking the hit defensively.
Whatever the case, we’re sure the Rangers backroom team are hatching a plan of attack but if ever the hyperbolic term defensive crisis was appropriate, then it’s probably now.
But whilst at the back the Gers are struggling, the club has been handed a minor injury boost by Steven Gerrard in the pre-match.