Rangers duo Alfredo Morelos and John Lundstram are likely to be available to face Celtic in the first Old Firm derby showdown this season.
Both players were shown straight red cards by referee Willie Collum during Saturday’s Premiership clash with Hibernian at Easter Road.
Lundstram was sent off for a lunging challenge on Martin Boyle as he sought to prevent a counter-attacker, while Morelos was given his marching orders for an elbow to the face of left-back Marijan Čabraja.
Their absence proved costly as Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side were unable to hold on to their 2-1 lead with nine men, eventually conceding a late equaliser in the 91st minute.
The two incidents come with automatic two-game suspensions which will be effective immediately; Lundstram’s due to serious foul play and Morelos’ for violent conduct - the category of both red cards will only be confirmed once the referee submits his report on the game.
However, despite their bans, the pair will be free for their trip across the city to Celtic Park on September 3 due to the SFA guidelines over the respective incidents.
Rangers have today launched an official appeal to have Lundstram’s dismissal downgraded to a yellow card after Van Bronckhorst described Collum’s controversial decision “harsh”.
Speaking post-match, the Dutchman argued: “After the two red cards, it was going to be very difficult.
“It’s a tackle I’ve seen in the first half (from Hibs midfielder Jake Doyle-Hayes which resulted in a yellow card), maybe even worse tackles. It’s a physical game.
“If the referee wants to have a physical game and set the standards like that, he shouldn’t have given the red card because of the types of challenges we had to overcome in the first half.
“It was a bit hard because he fouled him but there was no intention to hurt him. It wasn’t a tackle with real force, it was a foul to avoid a transition moment. It could have been a yellow as well.”
The club have also raised specific concerns about Collum’s handling of the game to the SFA, with a date yet to be fixed for the fast track hearing.
The governing body’s rule book states the bans will carry into any league or cup comeptition: “A recognised First Team Player sent off in a First Team match (other than in a Specified Cup Competition) will be suspended for his club’s next two First Team matches, irrespective of the competition and including Specified Cup Competitions, as applicable.”
This means Morelos and Lundstram will have to sit out of the Premiership match with Ross County as well as the Premier Sports Cup fixture against Queen of the South, but will have served their suspensions in time to face Ange Postecoglou’s side.