After a 2-2 draw at Ibrox, Rangers and PSV Eindhoven will clash heads at Philips Stadion in the decisive return leg of the Champions League play-off. Despite the ongoing squad transition, the Gers are determined to make it to the group stages for a second successive season. However, it will take a monumental effort to stun the in-form home side in their backyard.
While the weekend’s 2-0 win against Ross County would boost the Light Blues’ confidence before the trip, PSV have shown their mettle to come back twice from behind in the reverse tie. Michael Beale and Peter Bosz, both known for their attacking style of play, should produce another midweek blockbuster on Wednesday night.
Predicted 4-3-1-2 Rangers Lineup To Face PSV Eindhoven
Jack Butland, roped in on a Bosman, has been deployed as Allan McGregor’s successor between the sticks. It was a comfortable afternoon versus the Staggies, but the Rangers ‘number 1’ would undergo a serious test against the veteran Luuk de Jong, impressive Noa Lang and the rising sensation Johan Bakayoko.
Skipper James Tavernier is likely to cause menace down the right with his marauding runs, crosses, cut insides and goal-scoring attributes. Left fullback Borna Barisic should balance his game between defence and attack, and the growing chemistry between Connor Goldson and John Souttar must offer stability and resilience in the heart of the backline.
Beale has tweaked his formation frequently, but the current 4-3-1-2 set-up suits his strategy of flexibility and swift attacking transitions. Ryan Jack is expected to reclaim his ‘number 6’ role replacing John Lundstram. Meanwhile, Jose Cifuentes should return to the centre of the pitch having been rested against Ross County. Nicolas Raskin, lively with his movements and high work ethic, is tipped to get the nod over Kieran Dowell who missed their trip to Dingwall with a slight knock.
Todd Cantwell must exhibit his creative spark as a ‘number 10’, also his versatility could see the Gers switching to a 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 during the contest. Fit-again Tom Lawrence and the summer signing Sam Lammers might get introduced at a later stage.
Cyriel Dessers has settled in quite well since plying his trade from Cremonese earlier this window. He should keep his place high up the pitch alongside Abdallah Sima who would offer flair, finesse and width in the attacking third. Danilo and Rabbi Matondo must get involved as ‘super subs’ given their pace, precision and poaching traits.