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Rangers: Leon King and Rabbi Matondo forced off against Livingston

Glasgow Rangers have been hit with two fitness doubts ahead of their return to UEFA Champions League action on Wednesday night…

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Leon King and Rabbi Matondo were both forced off the pitch in the 1-1 draw with Livingston in the Scottish Premiership at Ibrox and it now remains to be seen whether or not they will be fit enough to feature against Napoli in midweek.

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When asked about King’s issue, van Bronckhorst said:

“He had to come off because he was feeling a little bit sick and nauseous. So that was why we brought James in.”

Matondo came on at half-time and was forced off in the 78th minute. After the game, the head coach explained:

“Rabbi fell on his back so he couldn’t move so that’s why we took him off as well.”

Big blow for van Bronckhorst

Losing both of these players for the clash with Napoli, and potentially beyond, could be a big blow for the Ibrox boss as they have both had a part to play in the side this term.

King has played 11 times in the Premiership and Champions League combined so far this season due to injuries to John Souttar, Filip Helander, and Connor Goldson.

Ben Davies is the club’s only other natural centre-back option available and that is why the Gers academy graduate being fit and available is crucial for Rangers. James Sands filled in for the second half against Livingston but he is a midfielder by trade and van Bronckhorst has selected the youngster ahead of the USA international from the start in the last two league matches.

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Gio van Bronckhorst coaching on the touchline for Rangers

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This suggests that the head coach would prefer to have King available instead of needing Sands to drop down into centre-back to plug a gap next to Davies. Therefore, losing King for any period of time would be a blow to the manager’s plans and the Dutchman will now be hoping that the teenager can overcome his illness in the coming days.

Matondo, meanwhile, has the potential to be a difference-maker at the top end of the pitch. He has shown plenty of signs of quality in the Premiership this season as he has created three ‘big chances’ in total and created 1.1 chances per game in five starts.

The 22-year-old has not made his mark in the Champions League yet but his statistics in the Scottish top-flight suggest that he does have the ability to be a creative force if his teammates can get him into the right positions in Europe.

Therefore, losing both of them ahead of the clash with Napoli on Wednesday could be a big blow for van Bronckhorst. Hopefully, they are both able to overcome their respective issues in time for the game and, if they do miss out, are not absent for any matches beyond that.

Article title: Rangers: Leon King and Rabbi Matondo forced off against Livingston

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