The Glasgow outfit have little time to lick their wounds as they prepare for a first group stage outing in Europe’s premier competition for over a decade, having only recently overcome another Dutch side, PSV Eindhoven, in the playoff round.
Ahead of tonight’s mouthwatering clash in Amsterdam, Football FanCast has predicted just how Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side will line up…
The Dutchman’s options have been somewhat limited with a host of key figures still absent – including summer signings Tom Lawrence and John Souttar – although it is believed that fellow new arrival Ben Davies could well be available after his recent injury woes. With that in mind, we predict that the former Feyenoord boss will make five changes from the side that was brutally dismantled by bitter rivals Celtic at the weekend.
Despite his horror show at Parkhead, goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin appears set to keep his place ahead of veteran teammate Allan McGregor, having been given the backing of his manager earlier this week.
Ahead of the former Sunderland stopper, the only defensive change could well be the return of the aforementioned Davies in place of James Sands, with the latter man having endured a torrid afternoon against Ange Postecoglou’s side.
The United States international appears somewhat shaky in a centre-back berth, with pundit Mark Hateley previously dubbing him a “problem” in that role in the defeat to Union Saint-Gilloise back in early August. The loss of Calvin Bassey to tonight’s opponents remains a notable blow for the club, with the Nigeria international’s void still yet to be filled.
With James Tavernier, Connor Goldson and Borna Barisic making up the rest of the back four, ahead of them could well see Ryan Jack return to the starting XI alongside John Lundstram, with the Gers perhaps in need of a more solid presence after their recent thrashing.
Further changes could potentially lie in attack with Malik Tillman and Glen Kamara giving way for Scott Arfield and Scott Wright, with the latter man looking bright after entering the fray after the break against the Hoops.
Completing the attack will likely be Ryan Kent on the left-flank, while leading the line should well be Alfredo Morelos, with the “clever” gem – as dubbed by former boss Steven Gerrard – having so often delivered on European nights for the club.