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Rangers: Predicted Light Blues XI for Champions League clash

Glasgow Rangers return to Ibrox this evening as Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men face the prospect of a Champions League qualifying match under the lights.

The Light Blues come up against PSV on home turf before travelling to the Netherlands for the second leg next Wednesday. 

Van Bronckhorst’s side come into the match off the back of an emphatic 4-0 win over St. Johnstone in the Premiership at the weekend.

But, how many changes will the Dutch head coach make to the team for this European tie? Here is our predicted XI for it…

Jon McLaughlin; James Tavernier (C), Connor Goldson, James Sands, Borna Barisic; John Lundstram, Ryan Jack, Tom Lawrence; Malik Tillmann, Antonio Colak, Ryan Kent.

Starting off at the back, the only change we are predicting is the return of James Sands at centre-back to replace summer signing Ben Davies.

The arrival from Liverpool did little wrong against St Johnstone but Sands caught the eye in the 3-0 win over Union Saint-Gilloise in the Champions League last week and deserves another opportunity to show what he can do in Europe.

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Gio van Bronckhorst coaching on the touchline for Rangers

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Goldson and the USA international, along with the rest of the backline, kept a clean sheet at Ibrox and will now be looking to repeat that feat tonight. 

In midfield, we are predicting that van Bronckhorst will go back to the pairing that served him so well in the Europa League last term; Lundstram and Jack, with the former scoring two goals in the competition.

It may be harsh on Scott Arfield but Jack offers a defensive balance in the middle of the park that the Canadian is unable to provide. 

Should Ryan Jack start?

Yes

Yes

No

No

The former Burnley man has made 0.3 tackles and interceptions per game, losing 80% of his duels in total in the Premiership this season. In the Europa League last term, he lost half of his battles and failed to manage 1.0 or more tackles or interceptions respectively per outing.

On the other hand, the Scotland international made 3.2 tackles and interceptions per match and won 54% of his duels in Europe last term.

FFC published articles explaining why Tom Lawrence – who was once dubbed “unplayable” by former boss Steve Evans – and Ryan Kent should be the last two changes to the team, coming in for Scott Wright and Rabbi Matondo, as they have the potential to make a big impact in the final third.

Finally, Colak may keep his place at the top end of the pitch despite Alfredo Morelos’ return to fitness. The Croatian machine has scored three goals in his last three matches and, because of his goalscoring form, deserves to lead the line. 

Article title: Rangers: Predicted Light Blues XI for Champions League clash

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