Football / Rangers FC / News
STEVEN Gerrard is hopeful he will have Ryan Jack, Lassana Coulibaly and Scott Arfield all available for Rangers’ trip to Maribor this week.
The Light Blues jet out to Slovenia on Wednesday morning with a vital Europa League away leg to get through. The Gers take a 3-1 lead into the second leg of their third round qualifier.
Gerrard is confident he will have Jack back in contention after the midfielder missed the Maribor home leg and Premiership clash against St Mirren with concussion. The 26-year-old was taken to hospital as a precaution after taking a heavy blow to the head against Aberdeen.
Speaking to the media Gerrard said: “Ryan is back in full training today (Tuesday) so assuming he gets through today and tomorrow he will be available for selection.
“It could be a huge boost because I think he is in great form and I think he has played a very important role for us so far.
“I think when you are going away from home and you have a slight advantage you want to put people in your team that are going to help you get a positive result and Ryan comes into that bracket.”
Meanwhile the manager will make a decision on the availability of Lassana Coulibaly, who has impressed since his summer loan move from French side Angers.
The combative midfielder limped off late on against St Mirren on Sunday putting the Gers down to nine men for the remainder of the game.
“Lassana has recovered quite well and we don’t think it is a big issue, we think it is more down to maybe fatigue.
“He has posted some very big numbers in the last couple of games, in terms of distances and high speed so I think it is just is body letting him know that he might need a little bit of a break at some point.
“It is a big game Thursday and we will have to wait and see what he is like in the next 48 hours before we make a decision on him.”
Scott Arfield sat out Sunday’s league game at Ibrox and Gerrard has confirmed it was merely a precaution to protect the 29-year-old. He too should travel to Slovenia this week after missing both Europa League trips so far.
“Scott was just rested at the weekend, he had two or three weeks out with his knee and then he came back and played two full games, one of them was with ten men against Aberdeen.
“We had to protect him at the weekend so the idea was just to rest him; he had a little bit of a small issue but nothing major. Thankfully we got a win and actually rested him which is good.”