Derek McInnes and Kilmarnock will have to overcome Rangers without the help of Ibrox loanee Lewis Mayo, who is ruled out against his parent club.

The 22-year-old centre-back’s progress at the Premiership club has gone under the radar at times this season with Lewis Mayo a Kilmarnock Premiership ever-present except from an earlier game against Rangers.

Scottish Premier League Portrait Session
KILMARNOCK, SCOTLAND – OCTOBER 22: Lewis Mayo poses during the Kilmarnock official head-shot shoot on October 22, 2022, in Kilmarnock, Scotland.

The only league game the Rangers academy graduate has missed is 2-0 defeat to the Ibrox side at the beginning of the season with Mayo a key member of Derek McInnes’ side.

However Rangers will benefit from the player’s absence on the artificial surface at Rugby Park with Lewis Mayo not allowed to feature against his parent side.

The defender has yet to play for the Rangers top team but his progress out on loan at Kilmarnock will have done his chances no harm even if an Ibrox breakthrough remains a long-shot.

Excluding injuries, Rangers are well-stocked defensively with Connor Goldson, Ben Davies, Filip Helander, John Souttar, Leon King and even James Sands ahead of the kid in the Ibrox standings.

Lewis Mayo not the only Kilmarnock Rangers connection

Lewis Mayo isn’t the only Rangers connection with Kilmarnock heading into the match either, with manager Derek McInnes a former Ibrox midfielder.

Former Ibrox striker Kyle Lafferty is also at Rugby Park and recently returned after a lengthy suspension, with ex-Rangers winger Jordan Jones also on loan at the club from Wigan Athletic.

Even without Lewis Mayo, Rangers boss Michael Beale is expecting a tough game against Kilmarnock as he talked up Derek McInnes’ side heading into the game.

“I am expecting a really tough test, I know Derek well, he is a good guy and the Aberdeen battles between our teams were really tough games,” said Beale [Rangers].

“He has done a good job at Kilmarnock, obviously getting them back up and they have got a lot of familiar faces in their squad who have got good experience in this league.

“They have lost one in nine at home and they have beaten every team that we have beaten since we came back in so game on.”

Meanwhile, Rangers have been rocked by yet another injury setback to a key first-teamer.

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