By Doug Ward

18th Nov, 2020 | 12:05pm

Five Aberdeen players ruled out of clash v Rangers, one suffered int'l injury setback

Derek McInnes has confirmed that he will be without five first-team players for Aberdeen’s clash against Rangers at Ibrox on Sunday.

Niall McGinn is Aberdeen’s latest causality with the 33-year-old suffering a calf injury while playing for Northern Ireland in their Euro play-off defeat to Slovakia.

Marley Watkins, Dylan McGeouch and former Celtic winger Jonny Hayes are also ruled out of the trip to Ibrox due to injury while loaned-out Rangers ace Ross McCrorie is unavailable to play against his parent club.

“Niall McGinn has injured his calf. He did it in the Northern Ireland game against Slovakia,” said McInnes, as quoted on Aberdeen’s official website.

“We got him scanned over the weekend. It is not a tear but will probably keep him out for three weeks. It is the same type of injury he had at the start of the season

McInnes added: “We are missing some big players; Marley Watkins has been a key player for us, Dylan McGeouch and Jonny Hayes are out as well as Niall and Ross is unavailable.”

It’s pretty grim reading for Aberdeen fans ahead of the Dons’ Scottish Premiership showdown at Rangers this weekend.

McGinn has only started four matches this season for the Pittodrie club so he might not be a massive miss while McGeouch has only started two league matches.

However, Watkins, Hayes and McCrorie have been ever-presents in McInnes’ side since they arrived in the transfer window.

It’s good to see McCrorie getting the game-time he is getting at Pittodrie with the Gers academy product starting all but one of Aberdeen’s Scottish Premiership since he moved to the Granite City.

Without these players, Aberdeen will be weakened while Steven Gerrard’s squad is pretty much fully fit and raring to go ahead of Sunday’s action.

In other Rangers news, Nigeria’s manager has shared a key update on Leon Balogun’s fitness after the Gers centre-back went off injured last week.