A comeback victory on the road against St. Johnstone must have uplifted Rangers’ spirit ahead of hosting Lyon in their Europa League group stage encounter. The Ligue 1 giants are firm favourites to clinch a win, but the Gers have defied the odds time and again against the heavyweights in previous meetings.
Their last meeting occurred back in 2007 in the UEFA Champions League group stage. Both sides have had their highs and lows in the recent past and the Gers, despite an array of key absentees, would have the crowd’s backing at Ibrox. It is to be seen now how a decimated Rangers defence contains ex-Celtic forward Moussa Dembele on Thursday night.
Predicted 4-3-3 Rangers Lineup To Face Lyon
Despite a couple of spirited displays against Alashkert and Celtic, Robby McCrorie had to make way for Jon McLaughlin against the Saints. Although it is difficult to predict Steven Gerrard’s ‘number 1’, the gaffer might opt for Allan McGregor’s experience between the sticks in this high-profile encounter.
The Bears have an array of absentees in the defensive third with Filip Helander and Nathan Patterson being major doubts due to their respective injury woes. Jack Simpson has not been included in their Europa League squad and unless Connor Goldson returns from self-isolation, Gerrard might have to deploy Calvin Bassey as a makeshift centre-half alongside Leon Balogun. Borna Barisic should feature from the left, whereas skipper James Tavernier must occupy his usual right-back role.
Despite making it to the squad, Ryan jack is still recovering from his long-term calf injury. Steven Davis has to deliver once again as a deep-lying playmaker, also the likes of Joe Aribo and Glen Kamara must work harder to dominate the midfield game against the French hotshots. Davis should concentrate more on marshalling their depleted defence instead of making down-the-middle runs to operate in the advanced areas.
The likes of John Lundstram, Juninho Bacuna and Scott Arfield would offer depth, quality as well as versatility in the middle of the park. The trio might make it among the substitutes and play some part if the situation demands.
Ianis Hagi remains sidelined after a positive Covid result. But the Gers would still have a formidable frontline with Kemar Roofe (back from suspension) and Ryan Kent running down the flanks. Their flexibility would allow the gaffer to tweak the set-up, whereas the sharpness of Alfredo Morelos high up the pitch might cause a few problems in Les Gones backline.