Real Betis handed Rangers Europa League injury boost as crocked quartet given green light to ease goalkeeping crisis
Real Betis have been massively boosted ahead of taking on Rangers in the Europa League opener after four of their crocked stars were given the okay to play.
Former Manchester City and Barcelona keeper Claudio Bravo is set to take part in his first game of the season – at the age of 40. The Seville club had a goalkeeping crisis to contend with for the group stage opener at Ibrox after Portuguese Rui Silva had to come off with a torn thigh their weekend battering at Barcelona. His replacement, Fran Vieites, who usually plays for Betis B in Segunda Federacion – the fourth tier of Spanish football – was brought on to make his debut and was in line for a Givan baptism of fire.
However, Chilean keeper Bravo, who has missed the entire season so far with a calf injury, has been given the all-clear to play against Rangers with the veteran set to start. Bravo won two La Liga titles and a Champions League with Barca and one English title with City.
And they have been further boosted with three other stars ready to play too, including captain, Mexican international Andrés Guardado, who had been missing with an ankle injury.
Holding midfielder William Carvalho, who has won 80 caps for Portugal, also returned to training after a thigh injury and he was joined by 27-year-old right back Aitor Ruibal who has been declared fit after an appendicitis operation.
The return of the quartet would be a huge boost for Betis boss, former Manchester City and Real Madrid Manuel Pellegrini, who has complained about the lack of squad numbers for their Europa League campaign after they sold key defender Luiz Felipe to Saudi Arabia just ahead of the transfer deadline for £22 million and were not able to replace him.