Sunday, October 2, 2022

Hagi And Balogun To Return For Gerrard | Predicted 4-3-3 Rangers Lineup Vs Benfica

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Premiership giants Rangers will be hoping to continue their excellent run of form in the Europa League when they travel to Portugal to take on Benfica this Thursday. The Ibrox club are coming into this tie on the back of a hard-fought 1-0 win against Kilmarnock on the weekend, where a James Tavernier penalty proved to be the difference. With Celtic not having played a league fixture on the weekend, Steven Gerrard’s men actually increased their lead atop the table to a commanding nine points, albeit with the Hoops having two games in hand.

The Ibrox club’s two Europa League group stage matches so far have both ended in victories, as they currently find themselves sitting in 2nd place in the group, with just Benfica above them. With both teams on six points with two wins in the bag each, this tie has the potential to give one of them the edge required to go into the international break leading the way. Although Gerrard will be aware of the fact that this is going to be his toughest challenge of the season till date, they can take motivation from that fact that they haven’t conceded a goal since the first match of October.

Team News

In a worrying piece of news that erupted recently, it was revealed that Jordan Jones and George Edmundson had been suspended for breaking COVID-19 guidelines. They were seemingly at a party involving ten other people, and the police informed the club immediately after they shut it down. The club officials are said to be holding their own probe, with the players expected to enter a mandatory 14-day isolation period. Apart from that, Steven Gerrard has what is pretty much a full-strength squad to choose from.

Here Is The Predicted 4-3-3 Rangers Lineup Vs Benfica:

Predicted 4-3-3 Rangers Lineup Vs Benfica - Hagi and Gerrard
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – OCTOBER 25: Steven Gerrard, manager of Rangers interacts with Ianis Hagi of Rangers during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Livingston at Ibrox Stadium on October 25, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Predicted 4-3-3 Rangers Lineup Vs Benfica

Defence

Despite the summer signing of Jon McLaughlin, Steven Gerrard has now seemingly been convinced by the fact that Allan McGregor should be first-choice. The veteran has been preferred across all the matches in recent weeks, and that trend is likely to continue. In front of him, expect Gerrard to bring Nigerian international Leon Balogun into the side, to partner up with Connor Goldson in the heart of defence. James Tavernier and Borna Barisic are likely to continue in the full-back slots.

Midfield

Ryan Jack’s return to fitness has come as a massive boost to the Gers’ ambitions, and the Scottish midfielder is set to keep his place in the side, alongside Glen Kamara in the engine room. The duo will act as the main link between their defence and attack lines, with both having their fair share of defensive responsibilities as well, against what is surely going to be a well-drilled Benfica side. Joe Aribo is likely to start in a slightly more advanced role, where he would have the freedom to get forward and make runs into the box.

Attack

The attack-line has been one of the Ibrox club’s biggest strengths since the start of the season, and Gerrard is likely to stick with the tried and tested front-three of Alfredo Morelos, Ryan Kent and Ianis Hagi. The Romanian played no part in the win against Kilmarnock on the weekend, which means that he is sure to come back into the side. Ryan Kent’s form has been gradually depleting over recent weeks, and a similar performance against Benfica could make things quite a challenge for the Glasgow club. Alfredo Morelos is expected to be given the nod ahead of the other striking options.

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