Rangers make their return to the Champions League on Tuesday evening as they travel to take on Malmo, with Steven Gerrard’s side looking to avoid a repeat of 2011 when they suffered defeat against the same club in their last Champions League venture.
Gerrard’s side kicked off their 2021/22 campaign with a routine 3-0 victory against Livingston at Ibrox on Saturday but will face a much sterner test against Jon Dahl Tomasson’s side, who beat HJK Helsinki and Riga to earn their place in the third qualifying round.
The Rangers boss will be without some key players for the trip to the Eleda Stadium but will still be hoping to pick up a positive result ahead of the second leg at Ibrox next week.
Here’s how Football FanCast expects the 41-year-old manager to line his side up in Sweden, with five changes from the team which started against Livingston…
After being rested against Livingston at the weekend, it seems likely that 2020/21 first choice Allan McGregor will return in between the sticks, with Jon McLaughlin dropping to the bench.
There are two changes in defence, as Borna Barisic makes his return at left-back in place of Calvin Bassey, who lost possession 24 times at the weekend, whilst Filip Helander comes in for the suspended Leon Balogun at centre-back against his former club.
Gerrard was full of praise for the £3.15m-rated Sweden defender in 2019, dubbing him a “leader“, and his and Connor Goldson’s partnership at the back could be crucial in the Gers keeping another clean sheet on Tuesday evening.
Finally, Scott Wright comes in for Ianis Hagi on the right-hand side after the Romanian was forced off against Livingston, with Ryan Kent and Fashion Sakala keeping their places while Alfredo Morelos and Kemar Roofe are unavailable due to self-isolation and suspension respectively.
In other news… Rangers miss out on “fantastic” gem, Gerrard must be fuming