There is no luxury of a pre-season tour for Pedro Caixinha’s men as they continue their gruelling European fixtures in order to qualify for the Europa League next season. They did a brilliant job of taking a slim lead in the first leg as they defeated Luxemburg side FC Progrès Niederkorn 1-0 last week, and Caixinha would hope his side to get the job done on Tuesday when they visit Stade Jos Haupert.
With a large number of transfers already confirmed by Rangers ahead of the transfer period, it was surely frustrating for the Portuguese boss who was unable to use them. The only options available with Caixinha last time are defenders Fabio Cardoso and Ryan Jack, midfielders Dalcio and Daniel Candeias, and centre forward Alfredo Morelos.
Despite remaining absent from the top-tier Scottish Premiership for the last four years, Rangers had a decent season upon their return as they finished third in the league following Celtic and Aberdeen. The winner of this game would play either AEL Limassol or St Joseph’s in the second qualifying round.
Rangers have already signed nine players, with many unavailable before the transfer season starts. But the manager would hope his team to break into the main competition where they could compete with full strength.
English goalkeeper Wes Foderingham is expected to take his position under the bar. The shot stopper had a good season with Gers the last term and looked solid against Progrès Niederkorn at home. However, the conditions will change and he has a challenging task on his hands.
The biggest inclusion for Caixinha going into the game would be Portugal’s, Bruno Alves. Following Portugal’s ouster from the Confederations Cup against Chile in the semi-final, the 35-year-old has arrived at the Rangers camp, and will undoubtedly be a level up for the side. He is expected to start against compatriot Fabio Cardoso in the central defence. Although Alves could be a doubt owing to tiredness and jetlag, the manager isn’t expected to take the risk.
The defensive flanks are expected to be taken by James Tavernier in the right-back’s position and Lee Wallace as the left-back.
Caixinha’s four-man midfield was a success in the last tie and we expect the boss to stick with it for this game too. Carlos Pena is available for the game and we expect the boss to start the highly-rated Mexican alongside Ryan Jack in the central midfield. The flanks are expected to be taken by skipper Kenny Miller and yet another new recruit Dálcio.
Although Nico Kranjcar started in the front two last match was indeed brilliant in the return leg against Progres, we feel Caixinha will give him a rest for this one. he would be preferred from the bench creating havoc against the tired legs of the opposition in the second half.
We expect the boss to start with Eduardo Herrera and Alfredo Morelos in the attack.