Gio van Bronckhorst’s Rangers are set to turn their attention away from Europe today as they return to Premiership action at Ibrox.
They beat Borussia Dortmund 6-4 on aggregate in the Europa League, after a 2-2 draw in Glasgow on Thursday night, and now come up against Motherwell.
The Gers are chasing Celtic at the top of the table and need to pick up all three points today to keep the pressure on their arch-rivals.
One player who must be ruthlessly axed from the starting XI for this match is left-back Borna Barisic after his poor displays against Dortmund.
He has been way off the mark required in Europe and that should result in him being dropped to the bench against Motherwell today. The Croatia international was hauled off at half-time on Thursday to make way for Leon Balogun, with Calvin Bassey moving to left-back, and that could be the change that takes place in the side ahead of kick-off at Ibrox.
Barisic recorded SofaScore ratings of 6.2 and 6.4 against the Bundesliga outfit, which suggests that he struggled badly in both games. Therefore, the 29-year-old dud, who was once dubbed “mind-boggling” by Richard Foster, has now been way off it in his last two outings and does not deserve to be in the starting XI on current form.
Bassey, meanwhile, managed a SofaScore rating of 7.3 in the second leg against Rangers as he played at both centre-back and left-back. His second-half showing at full-back, setting up James Tavernier’s second goal, suggests that he is in a better place, as it stands, to start ahead of his Croatian teammate against Motherwell.
However, this does not mean that all is lost for Barisic. He is currently enduring a bad patch of form but has proven that he knows what it takes to put in top-class performances in the Premiership. The defender has averaged a SofaScore rating of 7.28 in the division this term.
This shows that he is capable of delivering excellent displays on a consistent basis, but he needs to be able to get himself back into a position where he is able to do that again. The Scottish Cup tie with Dundee FC next month could be a good opportunity for him to come back in and find his feet, for example.
For now, van Bronckhorst must ruthlessly axe him from the starting XI and go with Balogun and Bassey in the back four next to Tavernier and Connor Goldson.