Alan Hutton believes that Jermain Defoe is in line to make his first appearance for Rangers this season against Lincoln Red Imps on Thursday.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Gers and Scotland defender suggests that there will be a number of changes, many enforced, from the starting XI which Steven Gerrard named against Dundee United.
Defoe has not featured at all in the Gers’ early fixtures this term after he picked up an injury during the club’s pre-season preparations.
The Daily Record report that the veteran hitman was included among the provisional squad for Saturday’s win against Dundee United but he was not included among the 20-man matchday squad.
However, Hutton believes that Thursday’s European qualifier could be the perfect chance for the 37-year-old to build up his fitness and give Gerrard the chance to rotate his injury-stricken side.
Asked what changes he could see Gerrard making, Hutton told Football Insider: “To be honest there’s going to have to be a few when you look at the injuries and stuff, he will have to make a few.
“I think it’s a good opportunity for the likes of Defoe, who’s just coming back, missed a lot of football. We can’t underestimate the team, they had a really good game against Celtic in previous years, it’s a one-off game over there so you can’t underestimate it.
“I would have thought Steven Gerrard would make a few changes. Whether it be up front with the likes of Itten and Defoe coming in, possibly, the way the squad is there’s a whole host of people who could come in so I expect a few changes.”
Rangers saw Leon Balogun, Ryan Jack, Brandon Barker and Alfredo Morelos all pick up injuries on Saturday.
The Gers were also missing the likes of Joe Aribo and Allan McGregor due to their own respective fitness problems.
In other Rangers news, the club are offering a multi-million bid to sign a left-footed star.