An upbeat Rangers will punch above their weight on Thursday night against RB Leipzig in the Europa League semifinal despite multiple injury concerns. The Gers are set to travel to Germany for the first leg fixture with a view of defying the odds at Red Bull Arena.
Leipzig are enjoying a majestic run under Domenico Tedesco after a dismal start. They have almost secured a Champions League berth for the upcoming term but, at the same time, are one of the prime contenders to conquer the European crown. Rangers, the outright underdogs, must aim for a result this midweek to hunt the Germans down at Ibrox.
Predicted 4-2-3-1 Rangers Lineup To Face RB Leipzig
Jon McLaughlin has mostly been preferred in domestic Cups and the gaffer Giovanni van Bronckhorst is likely to rely on veteran Allan McGregor given his experience of the highest order.
Skipper James Tavernier is leading the Gers by example with his tireless runs and set-piece expertise. Connor Goldson has been rock-solid in the heart of the backline and the Englishman is expected to be lined up alongside Calvin Bassey who has offered his versatility in the defensive third. Borna Barisic has revived his game after a difficult spell and the manager should retain his services on the left.
Rangers are well equipped in the centre of the pitch, but the growing chemistry of Ryan Jack and John Lundstram has earned them first-team status as the double pivot. Glen Kamara, Steven Davis and James Sands should wait for their opportunities as second-half substitutes.
Aaron Ramsey’s injury is a massive blow for the Light Blues. The Wales maestro was running the show before picking up a hamstring strain in the Old Firm derby. Scott Arfield has done well as a cameo against Celtic, and therefore, is in contention for a starting role down the right-hand flank. Ryan Kent has been productive from the left and his pace, power and prowess should cause menace in the Leipzig defence. Joe Aribo must continue as the advanced playmaker even though he has lacked consistency in terms of vision and creative spark. Amad Diallo and Scott Wright are the other wide attacking options who could be involved at some stage late in the contest.
With Alfredo Morelos ruled out for the rest of the season, Kemar Roofe stepped in as a ‘number 9’ amid the absence of the Colombian. The latter, however, is also sidelined at least for the first-leg tie and all eyes would be on Fashion Sakala who is likely to lead the line.