Rangers would entertain Maribor at the Ibrox Stadium tomorrow night as they look to earn a positive result in the first leg of their crucial UEFA Europa League third-round qualifier. The Gers made an average start to their league campaign as they were held 1-1 in their first league match away at Aberdeen last weekend. Alfredo Morelos was sent off in the 12th minute, but the Teddy Bears took the lead through James Tavernier’s penalty only to see it slip away in the dying embers of the game.
Steven Gerrard will be hoping that his team can bounce back against their Slovenian opponents midweek so that the Light Blues can take one step closer towards securing a place in the Europa League group stage draw. The Ibrox outfit has already managed to beat Shkupi with a 2-0 aggregate scoreline in the first qualifying round but found it tough versus Osijek in the second round, only edging past them with a 2-1 aggregate score to set up a date with Darko Milanič’s team.
The Gers boss will hope his side doesn’t get complacent and might opt for a 4-2-3-1 formation for this European encounter. Jon Flanagan will miss out on this affair as he is suspended after picking up cautions on both legs against Osijek in the previous round.
4-2-3-1 Rangers Predicted Lineup To Face Maribor
Allan McGregor should start in between the sticks for the Teddy Bears, and the Scottish goalie would be protected by the centre-half pairing of Connor Goldson and Nikola Katic. Flanagan is suspended, so Ross McCrorie could start as a makeshift left-back while the Gers captain, James Tavernier operates on the right side of the backline. Gerrard will hope that his defenders can build on their resolute showing against the Dons by putting in another solid display on Thursday night.
The Light Blues defence has kept three clean sheets in five matches so far this season, which should give their players enough confidence to keep it tight at the back versus Maribor.
The midfield pair of Lassana Coulibaly and Scott Arfield could be deployed in the middle of the park as the holding midfielders. The trio of Ryan Kent, Ovie Ejaria and Daniel Candeias might be told to play ahead of them as they look to link up and create some opportunities in the Maribor half.
Alfredo Morelos is expected to lead the lines for the Glaswegian heavyweights up top. He was sent off versus Aberdeen on Sunday which let his team down. It’s high time the Colombian comes back firing on all cylinders for Gerrard’s side.
The Gers supporters will be keeping their fingers crossed that Morelos can rectify his mistake from the weekend by putting on a goal-scoring performance against the Slovenian giants.
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