Despite a scintillating win against Borussia Dortmund at Signal Iduna Park, Rangers stumbled in the Premiership last weekend in yet another away fixture. They are lagging behind in the league race but, at the same time, making the nation proud in Europe by punching above their own weight.
Having said that, the Thursday night tie at Ibrox won’t be a stroll in the park for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s juggernaut. Borussia Dortmund would look to turn things around in this return leg contest and the Gers must showcase their resilience to defend the two-goal cushion in order to make it to the Round of 16 for the third consecutive campaign.
Predicted 4-2-3-1 Rangers Lineup To Face Borussia Dortmund
Although in his 40s, Allan McGregor is still going strong between the sticks. The custodian is ahead of Jon McLaughlin in the pecking order and his experience might prove crucial in this engaging encounter.
With Leon Balogun and Jack Simpson not registered for Europe, young Calvin Bassey should get restored as a left centre-half to partner Connor Goldson in the heart of the defensive line. Leon Balogun is still sidelined due to fitness woes and Bassey’s place in deep defence would see left fullback Borna Barisic returning to the starting XI. Skipper James Tavernier must feature from the right and exhibit his attacking prowess with overlapping runs, crosses, set-piece traits and cut insides.
Rangers brought Aaron Ramsey on loan from Juventus, but the Wales ace has not been an assured starter. Instead, John Lundstram has stepped up his game in recent weeks and the former Sheffield United midfielder is expected to operate as the double pivot from the deep alongside Ryan Jack. Jack, meanwhile, is finally back from a long injury layoff and his power-packed display in the centre of the pitch has been rewarded with a first-team role ahead of Glen Kamara, James Sands and Steven Davis.
Joe Aribo is the most creative option in the middle of the park and the Nigerian playmaker is likely to retain his ‘number 10’ status. Scott Arfield has lately been impressive with his flexibility and work rate, and the Canadian veteran should occupy the right midfield role to offer an added depth in midfield. Ryan Kent needs to be more prolific from the left with his finishing and decision-making.
Alfredo Morelos is continuing his amazing scoring streak in Europe and the Colombian must put this tie to bed by converting his opportunities while spearheading the attack. The likes of Amad Diallo, Fashion Sakala and Kemar Roofe might get involved at some stage as second-half substitutes.