Scottish Premiership

Rangers: Joshua Barrie tips Ryan Kent to start second leg of UCL qualifier

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Rangers Review journalist Joshua Barrie, sometimes seen on Sky Sports, believes Ryan Kent will return to action tonight in Europe. 

The flashy winger missed the Gers’ trip to Belgium last week where they lost 2-0 in the first leg of their Champions League third qualifying round tie with Union Saint-Gilloise.

The 25-year-old went over on his ankle late on against Livingston on the opening day of the season and was again left out of the squad for Saturday’s victory over Kilmarnock.

Speaking after the win, manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst revealed that it was ‘too short’ for Kent to return at the weekend, but the club were working hard and hopeful of having him fit for the return leg at Ibrox.

Barrie feels the Dutchman’s comments are a good omen for Bears supporters and is expecting the Englishman to feature.

Speaking on the Rangers Review YouTube channel on Monday morning, he said: “When you don’t have that pace of Kent on the left, it’s certainly pretty noticeable.

“I think in Europe, in particular, he was quite a gamechanger, so it will give everyone a lift if he’s available.

“I have a sneaky suspicion he will be, because I think Van Bronckhorst would have maybe tempered expectation more if it was likely that Kent’s not [fit] because it’s only tomorrow, the game, it’s not Thursday – so it’s not long to go.”

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Having weighed in with 20 assists last season and already off the mark with one this term, Kent’s return could make or break Rangers’ hopes of progressing.

He was particularly prominent during the club’s run to the Europa League final in May, contributing to five goals throughout the knockout stages, and that quality on the continent could prove pivotal.

However, it does remain to be seen whether or not he will make it and you would feel an appearance would certainly lift the Light Blues’ crowd on a night when they need to be at full voice.

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