Premiership leaders Rangers will be hoping to secure progress to the next round of this season’s UEFA Europa League when they welcome Turkish heavyweights Galatasaray to the Ibrox Stadium this Thursday. The home side are coming into this fixture on the back of a convincing 5-1 victory over Motherwell last weekend. Despite still sitting pretty atop the league table, Gerrard will know inside that their position is currently far from secure. With Celtic boasting a game in hand as well, things could get quite interesting over the coming few weeks.
Steven Gerrard’s side comfortably beat Dutch outfit Willem II in the last round of the competition, with the fixture finishing 4-0 to the Scottish outfit. Although the match was played in the Eredivisie club’s home stadium, Rangers ended up having far too much firepower in attack for them to deal with. When paired with the heroics of Allan McGregor in between the sticks, there was no way that the home side could’ve won that match. The Bears will surely be eager to build on that promising victory by getting past the challenge of Galatasaray on Thursday night.
Rangers’ injury list seems to be an endless cycle, and that has come as a real nuisance to Steven Gerrard and his plans for the club. Borna Barisic played no part in the weekend tie due to a slight niggle but is in line to make his return this midweek.
The number of players that they currently have sidelined though, is surely going to be a worry. Jamaican striker Kemar Roofe is undoubtedly the biggest absentee, while there is an appalling lack of depth running through the midfield too. Joe Aribo, Brandon Barker and Ryan Jack all remain unavailable for selection.
Here Is The Predicted 4-3-3 Rangers Lineup Vs Galatasaray:
Predicted 4-3-3 Rangers Lineup Vs Galatasaray
Veteran goalkeeper Allan McGregor was given the nod ahead of Jon McLaughlin in their last Europa League clash, and the former Besiktas man kept his place in the side for the league win on the weekend as well. Despite some decent performances from McLaughlin, expect McGregor to start once again on Thursday night. In front of him, expect to see the usual central defensive duo of Connor Goldson and Filip Helander. Skipper James Tavernier and Croatian international Borna Barisic are likely to start as the full-backs for this tie.
As good as this Rangers squad is on paper, it’s worth conceding that depth is one of their biggest weaknesses. With two key midfield names unavailable for selection, Gerrard will be forced to utilise the same midfield trio that has been doing its job over recent weeks. Glen Kamara and Steven Davis are likely to start as the two-man pivot, with the latter responsible for linking up play and starting attacks from the back. Scott Arfield was nothing short of sensational on the weekend, which means that he’s going to keep his place in the team as well.
With Kemar Roofe out injured, the responsibility of being the central striker is likely to fall onto the shoulders of Colombian striker Alfredo Morelos. Despite not getting on the scoresheet in the last couple of matches, with Roofe out injured, it’s unlikely that Morelos will be dropped. Cedric Itten scored his first goals for Rangers last weekend, but he is probably out for this one as confirmed by Gerrard.
Instead, the attacking depth could be provided by the dangerous likes of Ryan Kent and Ianis Hagi. The Romanian was at his best in European clashes last season, and a similar performance this time around would endear his name even more among the Ibrox faithful.