Glasgow Rangers return to action this evening, as Steven Gerrard’s side host Benfica in the Europa League for the first time this season.
In what was a thrilling encounter from start to finish, the two sides shared the spoils in Lisbon after the Light Blues gave away a two-goal lead last time out. The result left both sides unbeaten in their last four outings in the Europa League, but Rangers will want to make amends when they take on the Portuguese giants tonight.
Gerrard’s side are currently unbeaten with 18 wins from 21 games in all competitions in total this term, whilst Benfica will be looking to rebuild having suffered back-to-back defeats to Boavista and Braga respectively before the international break.
Here at Football FanCast, we’ve worked on a predicted starting line-up, which sees the Rangers manager make three changes to the team that thumped Aberdeen at the weekend.
The Gers will be well aware that they could move three points clear of Jorge Jesus’ side at the top of Group D and qualify for the knockout stages, so Gerrard will want leave nothing to chance.
Allan McGregor is expected to keep his place between the sticks with Jon McLaughlin once again having to settle for a place on the bench.
It’s hard to imagine Gerrard making any changes to the back four, with Borna Barisic, Leon Balogun, Connor Goldson and club captain James Tavernier likely to start after keeping a second consecutive clean sheet in a row against Aberdeen.
Calvin Bassey could come off the bench, but we’re backing the Ibrox boss to keep his faith in Barisic, for now at least.
Ryan Jack remains a doubt after suffering an injury against Aberdeen, whilst Bongani Zungu has been ruled out due to injury, so bringing Steven Davis back into the fold alongside the in-form Glen Kamara makes sense, meaning Joe Aribo will be the man to drop out of the midfield three.
Kemar Roofe has been impressing on the right wing in recent weeks but Gerrard may opt to bring Ianis Hagi in on the right instead. The Romania international has been so strong in Europe since he first arrived at the Govan stadium, with two goals and an assist in six games in the Europa League (excluding the qualifying rounds) for the Gers so far.
Therefore, the ever-reliable Ryan Kent is likely to keep his place on the left flank with Alfredo Morelos leading the line once again.