The disastrous defeat last week against Malmo knocked Rangers out of the Champions League. But they must regroup themselves tomorrow night against FC Alashkert in the Europa League play-off fixture. A commanding win at Ibrox would put them in the driver’s seat before travelling to Armenia for next midweek’s return leg contest.
A thumping 5-0 win against Dunfermline Athletic must have boosted the Gers after three successive defeats. Rangers must exhibit their grit and determination to emulate the success story of the 2020-21 season both at home as well as abroad.
Predicted 4-3-3 Rangers Lineup To Face Alashkert
Rangers, so far, have preferred Jon McLaughlin for domestic games but relied on Allan McGregor’s experience in the European encounters. The latter, therefore, should feature between the sticks for the upcoming tie.
Skipper James Tavernier was rested against Dunfermline and is likely to reclaim his right-back role. Ever-present Connor Goldson must rediscover his form, whereas Filip Helander should get the nod over Leon Balogun and Jack Simpson. Steven Gerrard would have a selection dilemma for the left-back spot. However, the gaffer should opt for Borna Barisic’s experience despite the excellence of Calvin Bassey down the flank. Bassey should definitely get a look in during the weekend’s league encounter though.
Glen Kamara will serve the final one of his three-game European ban. Ryan Jack and Nnamdi Ofoborh are still sidelined with their respective injury woes, and the pressure would be immense on Steven Davis once more. The veteran Northern Irishman must pull strings from the centre of the pitch and drive the likes of Joe Aribo and Ianis Hagi, who should occupy the other midfield slots.
This might seem like an attacking set-up, but the cameo of the Romanian against Malmo proved his significance over the likes of Scott Arfield and John Lundstram. Rangers must go press against Alashkert from the start and utilise the home ambience, unlike the Malmo mess.
The Light Blues might struggle to retain Alfredo Morelos beyond this summer. But the Colombian should continue to lead the line as long as he is in Glasgow. Kemar Roofe would miss both the fixtures due to his European ban, and a groin injury might keep Fashion Sakala sidelined for the Ibrox outing. Cedric Itten remains an option as the understudy to Morelos.
The likes of Ryan Kent and Scott Wright down the wide would add flexibility and flair to this Rangers attack. The front trio must convert the opportunities and ensure a commanding win to avoid any chance of a slip up next week away from home.
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