Rangers team news: "Massive figure" gives Gers huge boost ahead of Europa League opener

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Stuart Hodge reckons that the return of captain Connor Goldson is a massive boost to Rangers' hopes of starting their Europa League group stage campaign with a positive result against Lyon.

The central defender missed his first Gers game in any competition since January 2020 at St Johnstone on Saturday after he was forced to sit out of the 2-1 win at McDiarmid Park because of Covid-19 isolation.

But Rangers didn't miss their captain after goals from Kemar Roofe and James Tavernier secured a second victory on the bounce and ensured that Steven Gerrard's men climbed above Hearts and Hibs and returned to the top of the Scottish Premiership.

Rangers will face a much tougher test at Ibrox this evening, though, when French giants Lyon visit Glasgow and Hodge has been discussing the expected return of Goldson ahead of the game.

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What did Hodge say?

He told GIVEMESPORT: "I think he is a massive leader and a massive figure for Steven Gerrard and Rangers, so with Goldson specifically, if he plays, I think there's no real need to worry, because no matter who you put beside him, I think Rangers will feel confident going into the game."

How big of a boost will Goldson's return be?

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It's absolutely huge for Gerrard. It doesn't matter whether it's a League Cup tie against lower league opposition or a big European clash, when Goldson is fit, he plays, it's that simple.

He's become a key part of Rangers' success in recent seasons, leading the side impressively and was pivotal in their title-winning unbeaten campaign last term.

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Goldson hasn't missed a single European game since joining Rangers three years ago, playing 49 matches out of a possible 49. And with him back at the heart of the Gers defence, he'll only improve their chances of starting with a victory and claiming another major European scalp in the process.

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