Despite losing 2-0 in the reverse tie at Ibrox, Rangers have already cemented a place in the Europa League knockouts alongside Lyon. They would anyway finish over Sparta Prague (on the head to head aggregate) irrespective of Thursday night’s outcome and the gaffer Giovanni van Bronckhorst should rest a few of his first-team stars in the wake of the upcoming fixture congestion.
Lyon, on the other hand, have won all five group stage encounters and would aim for a perfect six at Parc Olympique Lyonnais. They are already the group winners with 15 points and Peter Bosz, Les Gones chief, should rather focus on the weekend’s Lille contest to climb up the Ligue 1 ladder. Both sides must avoid more injury misfortunes in this dead rubber fixture.
Predicted 4-3-3 Rangers Lineup To Face Lyon
Allan McGregor has reclaimed his ‘number 1’ status in recent weeks. The veteran Scotsman is expected to retain his place and exhibit his leadership traits from the last line of defence.
Nathan Patterson should be unleashed as a right fullback in place of skipper James Tavernier, however, injuries to Filip Helander and Leon Balogun would refrain Bronckhorst from further defensive rotation. Jack Simpson has not been registered for the European competition and we expect to see Connor Goldson and Calvin Bassey pairing up in the heart of the backline as they have appeared in recent outings. While Bassey has settled in as a makeshift centre-half, Borna Barisic would keep on featuring from the left-hand side of Rangers’ ‘back four’.
The Light Blues are well equipped in the centre of the pitch and the manager must offer some breathing space to Joe Aribo and Glen Kamara this midweek. 37-year-old Steven Davis might return to the starting XI and operate from the base of a three-man midfield, whereas the likes of John Lundstram and Juninho Bacuna should be deployed in a box-to-box role in order to depict their technicality, creative spark and vision. Ryan Jack has returned from a long injury layoff and is likely to grab more minutes as a second-half substitute.
Fashion Sakala and Alfredo Morelos are both one booking away from suspensions, and therefore, must not be risked on Thursday night. Ryan Kent deserves rest having impressed following his injury return and the gaffer should opt for Scott Wright and Ianis Hagi as his wide attacking options. Versatile Kemar Roofe might spearhead the attack as he has showcased his poaching traits time and again since joining the Glasgow giants.