RANGERS will welcome back ‘four or five’ of their Covid-enforced Europa League absentees when they host Celtic at Ibrox.

The champions booked their place in the group stages for a fourth successive season with a dull goalless draw away to Alashkert on Thursday evening.

Manager Steven Gerrard was one of several key figures that missed the trip to Armenia after Rangers reported positive Covid cases this week and saw the likes of Allan McGregor, James Tavernier and Ryan Kent ruled out of action.

Attentions now turn to the first Old Firm clash of the campaign on Sunday and assistant Gary McAllister is confident Rangers will have a stronger squad to choose from after everyone emerged unscathed from the stalemate in Yerevan.

McAllister said: “We will have everybody who was here tonight – and will be bolstered by another four or five, by my count.

“We’ve got players who have been dealing with Covid issues. We’ve got players who have been suspended.

“And we’ve got some players who have been carrying some little niggling injuries. So we’ll be well bolstered for the weekend ahead.

“There was a wee bit of concerned at half-time that Scott Arfield got a smack on the toe, having received one earlier. That was a double blow.

“But everybody is fine. Joe (Aribo) and Robby (McCrorie) are fine. It’s a clean bill of health so far.

“We will get the recovery right. We feel this is the best way to do this, leading into this game.

“But for everybody – leaders, inexperienced players, youngsters – what a game. What a game.

“We’ve got 50-odd thousand Rangers fans coming to Ibrox for a game against one of our biggest rivals.

“These are the games you want to play in. Now that we’ve jumped into the Europa League group stage, those games are similar.

“They’re big games for big players and you need big moments in those games.

“So everybody is looking forward to it. Not just our leaders.”