By Alex McLeish

15th Sep, 2021 | 7:00pm

McLeish: 'I'm hearing today' Rangers handed 'big boost' after Scottish Government news

Moussa Dembele’s absence for Lyon will be a “real boost” for Rangers ahead of the pair’s upcoming Europa League clash.

So says ex-Rangers boss Alex McLeish, speaking exclusively to Football Insider as the Scottish champions prepare to do battle tomorrow night (16 September).

Former Celtic hitman Dembele is out injured and has not been named in Lyon’s matchday squad for the trip to Ibrox.

Reports in France had claimed that ex-Liverpool attacker Xherdan Shaqiri would also miss out, but the Switzerland ace is included in Lyon’s roster.

Holyrood has also granted Covid travel exemptions to Lucas Paqueta, Bruno Guimaraes and Tino Kadewere, as per Glasgow Live on 14 September.

McLeish claims he has also heard that the Lyon trio had been given special dispensation to feature in the Group A clash.

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But the former Scotland boss insists that Dembele’s injury news will be music to Rangers’ ears nonetheless.

“It’s certainly good news for Rangers,” he told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams.

“But I’m hearing today that the Lyon players have been passed by the Scottish Government.

“The fact that Dembele is out should be a big boost for Rangers. They are still a high-quality team that play at the top level.

“They are the home team and they showed last year just how far they have risen. It’s another big challenge for them.

“They have got momentum behind them and I’d like to think they can rise to another level for this European game.

“Do you want to be playing against a team that has their best players not playing? Yes, you do.

“But the onus and the pressure is now on Rangers to go and beat that depleted team now.”

In other news, pundit suggest Nathan Patterson to Everton may already be a done deal after Rangers update.