Europa League: Rangers omit Daniel Candeias as 'it's a numbers game'

Rangers' Daniel Candeias (left) scores against Oxford United
Daniel Candeias scored in Sunday's win over Oxford United
Europa League qualifying: St Joseph's v Rangers
Venue: Victoria Stadium, Gibraltar Date: Tuesday, 9 July Kick-off: 16:55 BST
Coverage: Listen live on Radio Scotland & online; text commentary on BBC Sport website & app

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard says winger Daniel Candeias was omitted from his squad to face St Joseph's because "it's just a numbers game".

Clubs can name up to 25 players for the Europa League, but that is reduced if they do not have enough "club-trained or locally-trained" players.

Candeias is not in the 22-man squad that headed to Gibraltar.

"You can swap and change - I'm not going to make a big thing of it," Gerrard said.

"It is just the way it is when you have big numbers, big squads, big players and competition for places."

Candeias made 52 appearances last season and netted in a 5-0 friendly win over Oxford United at Ibrox on Sunday.

"He's not suspended and he's not injured," Gerrard said looking ahead to Tuesday's game. "It is only normal from week to week that it changes on who is in and who is out.

"Daniel is a good player who played a lot of games for me last year and I predict the same could happen again this year.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he is involved in the competition in the next round if we are to progress."

All six of Rangers summer additions played on Sunday and could feature in Gibraltar.

"Straight away, they have given me big decisions to make," Gerrard said. "As the weeks go by, sometimes I'm going to have to make big calls and leave big players out who are good players. But we are hoping this is going to be a 60-game season."

'Have to be careful' with Morelos

Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos at Glasgow Airport
Alfredo Morelos flew out of Glasgow with the Rangers squad

Colombian striker Alfredo Morelos could feature having travelled despite missing Sunday's game and Tuesday's match being on an artificial surface.

"I think, if it was a joint problem, then it probably would affect that, but it was a muscle niggle and I have no doubts over using him," Gerrard said.

"I think we have to think about where he is at - he has missed probably a week now and he only played probably 20 or 25 minutes against Mansfield, so this would be his second game and we will have to be careful with him."

Full-back Jon Flanagan is missing after undergoing hernia surgery that will sideline him for about three weeks.

Scotland winger Jamie Murphy is due to face Ayr United in a friendly on Tuesday as he works his way back from a serious knee injury.

The out-of-favour Graham Dorrans, Jason Holt, Joe Dodoo, Eros Grezda and Kyle Lafferty are also absent along with Glenn Middleton and Ryan Hardie, who are both earmarked for loan moves.

Midfielder Scott Arfield is included in the 22 but will not play in the first leg having just returned following international duty with Canada.

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