Rangers showed sheer grit and determination during the Champions League qualifiers as they knocked PSV out of the playoffs to qualify for the group stages. The confidence was sky high even a week ago, but the humiliation against Celtic on Saturday afternoon has been a reality check ahead of locking horns with Ajax on the road.
Despite losing an array of renowned names during the summer window, the reigning Eredivisie champions are yet to drop a point so far this season. The Light Blues, therefore, must shake off the weekend shambles to avoid further misery on Wednesday night.
Ajax vs Rangers: Talking Tactics
Ajax are flexible enough to tweak the formation based on the situation. Alfred Schreuder might start with 4-3-3 which, however, could be switched to a 4-2-3-1 (or 4-1-4-1) thanks to the experience and versatility of Steven Berghuis and Dusan Tadic.
Rangers, on the other hand, need more composure in the defensive third to deal with Ajax’s relentless threat from the flanks. A flat three-man midfield offered little against Celtic and the gaffer Giovanni van Bronckhorst should opt for a ‘double pivot’ in his 4-2-3-1 set-up.
The Dutch giants do not have major injury concerns except for Owen Wijndal. The young left fullback is likely to return to action later this month.
Ajax Predicted XI
Pasveer; Rensch, Timber, Bassey, Blind; Alvarez, Klaassen, Berghuis; Tadic, Bergwijn, Brobbey.
The absence of Tom Lawrence is a significant setback for the Gers, given the Welshman’s form and finesse as a playmaker. Ianis Hagi remains a long-term absentee, whereas the likes of Kemar Roofe, John Souttar and Filip Helander are still recovering from their respective problems. But the injury-hit Rangers have received a boost at the back with summer recruit Ben Davies travelling to Amsterdam for this midweek clash.
Rangers Predicted XI
McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Sands, Barisic; Lundstram, Davis; Wright, Tillman, Kent; Colak
Ajax have roped in Calvin Bassey from Rangers earlier this summer and the young Nigerian might frustrate his former employers with his headstrong defending and swift transitions. Dusan Tadic must exhibit his exquisite playmaking traits, also the presence of Steven Bergwijn would cause menace down the left.
Ryan Kent needs to improve his finishing and final deliveries for the in-form marksman Antonio Colak. Having said that, the marauding runs, crosses, cut insides and set-piece attributes of skipper James Tavernier might prove decisive at the Johan Cruyff Arena.
Ajax vs Rangers: Streaming Links
|United Kingdom||BBC Radio 5|
|Italy||Sky Sport Football|
|New Zealand||Spark Sport|