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Defoe and Hagi start, no Cedric Itten: Predicted Rangers XI vs Galatasaray

Rangers will continue their quest to qualify for the Europa League when they welcome Galatasaray to Ibrox on Thursday night.

Steven Gerrard’s side have so far stayed unbeaten this season, thrashing Motherwell 5-1 at Fir Park last weekend, so they will want to extend their winning streak this evening.

Gers win

Gers win

It'll go to pens

It'll go to pens

Galatasaray win

Galatasaray win

Given the current circumstances, the game will be played behind closed doors, but that won’t stop supporters from cheering the Gers on at home as they bid to reach the group stages for the third successive season in a row.

The Rangers boss has tinkered with his team here and there and he is expected to do the same again even though they are so close to qualifying for the Europa League.

Take a look at the lineup we are expecting to see at Ibrox Stadium, including three changes from their last league outing.


Fans may be surprised to see Gerrard ring several changes with so much still at stake.

Allan McGregor will most likely start between the sticks after such an impressive performance in the third-round qualifier in the Netherlands.

And James Tavernier will probably keep his place at right back amid interest from West Ham. The club captain bagged a brace against Motherwell at the weekend.

This may see Filip Helander and Connor Goldson slot into place alongside him as the former has been so impressive in Europe ever since he arrived at the Ibrox Stadium.

They could be joined by Croatia international Borna Barisic at left back even though Calvin Bassey impressed in his first start for the club against the Steelmen.

Moving further afield, the midfield trio of Steven Davis, Glen Kamara and Scott Arfield are most likely to keep their places as Ryan Jack has only recently returned to training following a short spell on the sidelines.

Gerrard’s side have scored nine goals in both of the previous rounds combined as well as keeping two clean sheets. Sadly Cedric Itten is set to miss out after the £2.5m signing suffered a knee injury in training.

While Ianis Hagi hasn’t hit the same heights he enjoyed during his loan spell last season, the 21-year-old still has big game experience, as he showed several times in Europe last term, which should be more than enough to see him fend off the rest of his rivals. Do not be surprised to see him start tonight.

This may come across as a bit of a shock to the system but seasoned veteran Jermain Defoe could replace Alfredo Morelos upfront, which means there will be no place for Jordan Jones despite the fact he scored on Sunday afternoon.

Defoe scored during the 5-0 thrashing of Lincoln FC in the first round and he has made two recent cameo appearances in the league after returning from injury, but Morelos will probably feature from the bench at some point.

The ever-reliable Ryan Kent will retain his rightful place on the left wing to form the rest of the front three.

AND in other news, Rangers should reignite interest in Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster

Article title: Defoe and Hagi start, no Cedric Itten: Predicted Rangers XI vs Galatasaray

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