Rangers B captain Kyle McClelland might’ve been gutted to miss out of the side’s 3-0 Challenge Cup defeat to Ayr United – but he could yet get a Europa League baptism of fire for the top team.

The Ibrox side’s second string is about preparing young players for a shot at the first team and amid injury the Southampton-linked centre-back has been spotted in training [Rangers].

Rangers are down to the bare bones defensively with Swedish international Filip Helander ruled out until at least December.

This issue has been intensified by the fact fourth choice centre-half Jack Simpson is not in the club’s Europa League squad.

Thankfully, vice-captain Connor Goldson is back in the squad for the match which means that he will likely join Nigerian international Leon Balogun in the starting XI.

But beyond these two the club is decidedly short with Calvin Bassey mooted as the potential fifth choice centre-back in the squad.

This means Kyle McClelland has been called up to provide back-up to the first team and may well make his Rangers debut if things don’t go to plan this evening.

McClelland, 19, is yet to make a professional appearance for Rangers but may well find himself on the bench heading into this huge match with Lyon.

The Rangers B team captain, Ibrox manager Gerrard has previously spoken about youngsters knocking on the door.

Holland U17 v Northern Ireland U17
Kyle McClelland is a Northern Irish youth international. (Photo by Cees van Hoogdalem/Soccrates/Getty Images)

This opportunity may have come a little earlier than planned but McClelland’s burgeoning reputation was backed up by links to Premier League Southampton in April [Scottish Sun].

If called upon this evening, this may be a huge opportunity for the former Falkirk loanee but Rangers will hoping Connor Goldson and Leon Balogun can see out a positive result.

Whilst Rangers have some major players out of the clash, so are Lyon with £76.5m worth of talent missing the match at Ibrox.

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