SERVETTE have been dealt a big blow on the eve of their Champions League qualifier against Rangers.

The Swiss side will be without midfielder Gaël Ondoua after he missed the trip to Glasgow.

The Cameron international, 27, was not granted a visa by the British authorities, and so could not make the journey with his teammates for the game.

The club says it "deplores" the situation and has exhausted all avenues to try to resolve the matter.

Translated, a club statement on their website reads: "Gaël Ondoua deprived from travel to Glasgow. His visa has not yet been issued by the British authorities, the player is absent from the trip to Glasgow.

"The significant efforts made for more than two weeks by the club and its player, also in collaboration with the Scottish Football Association, have not been enough.

"The club deplores this situation and supports its player and his team, which will have to deal without a major player in its workforce for non-sporting reasons."

Rangers take on Servette at Ibrox on Wednesday, August 9.

Captain Jeremy Frick, Miroslav Stevanovic, Keigo Tsunemoto, Alexis Antunes, Enzo Crivelli, Alexander Lyng, and Theo Magnin will all also miss the first-leg.

Servette boss René Weiler addressed the issue at this evening's press conference ahead of the tie. 

He said: "It’s clear these players are important for us but I don't want to spend much time talking about players who can’t play. I want to focus on the players who are capable of playing.

"It’s a big challenge. They're a very good club with a lot of tradition and success and it’s just a year ago they reached the final of the Europa Cup. It will be quite hard especially because they lost their first game so we expect a big reaction at home. We have to deliver an excellent performance when you’re playing a game like this.

"It was always a difficult team to play against. They defended well and on a plastic pitch it’s difficult. They conceded a strange goal. It’s not what they wanted for the opening game. But there’s no such thing as an easy game."

Rangers manager Michael Beale will be hoping that the famous Ibrox atmosphere on European nights helps the hosts to a much-needed victory.

The boss has experience of turning out at Old Trafford during his playing days.

And he insists that his players taking to the field at Ibrox is something to relish, not dread. 

He added: "It’s a motivation for our players. They must stay focused and deliver a good performance but they should enjoy it because it’s what every player wants. It’s the first time for some of them and an amazing opportunity which they should enjoy.

"Rangers have a brilliant fanbase and they're very loyal. They have expectations but they'll always stick by their team.

"Communication is done in a lot of non-verbal ways like facial expressions and body language so there are ways to get around that (noise). You can get yourself understood with effective communication.

"I've had a few experiences like that. Old Trafford and Ibrox are at a similar level. It’s an honour to be here as it is for my players as well."