Rangers have been handed a huge boost ahead of their Europa League clash with Lyon at Ibrox after it emerged that three of the French side’s players could miss the tie due to Covid-19 rules.
According to French outlet Radio Scoop, the Ligue 1 side have contacted UEFA amid fears three of their first-team players cannot travel to the UK due to trips to “red zone” countries during the international break.
This namely impacts talented Brazilian duo Lucas Paqueta and Bruno Guimaraes as well as Zimbabwean attacker Tino Kadewere.
According to the report, the Scottish Government have already been in contact with OL to confirm that the players will not be able to attend the game.
This is due to Brazil and Zimbabwe being classified as “red zone” countries by the British government.
Remarkably, the report claims that Lyon failed to convince the Scottish Government by claiming the trio were in Covid-19 bubbles during their trips abroad and have now turned to UEFA for advice.
How much of a boost would this be to Rangers?
Rangers are second seeds in the group whilst Lyon are the top seeds and favourites to progress. Starting against the French side at Ibrox is a superb chance to lay down a marker.
The fact Lucas Paqueta and Bruno Guimaraes are Brazilian international speaks volumes regarding their abilities but both are influential players with Lyon.
Attacking midfielder Lucas Paqueta is a key player, scoring 10 goals last season from midfield with his creative play a fixture of the French side.
Guimaraes is a more deep-lying midfield player but someone of similar importance to the Lyon side, his 33 league appearances last season highlighting this.
Tino Kadewere might not have the same profile as the two Brazilian stars but the Zimbabwean comes with his own pedigree.
The 25-year-old joined Lyon in a deal worth up to €14m (£12m) and he netted 10 times in Ligue 1 last season.
This is another influential, international player and his absence would certainly prove a Europa League boost to Rangers.
But whilst Covid-19 rules might be scuppering the situation involving Lyon, reportedly Rangers are set to benefit with one key player set to return v the French club.