Rangers will be hoping for another special European night under the lights at Ibrox as they move away from league action tonight.
The Gers will now be focussing on the Europa League after back-to-back wins in the Scottish top-flight, winning their last two matches 1-0.
Gio van Bronckhorst’s men beat Aberdeen 1-0 in their last outing, with Kemar Roofe scoring the winner off the bench, and now face Red Star Belgrade in Glasgow in the first leg of their knockout clash.
How many changes will van Bronckhorst make to the team? Here is our predicted XI…
We are predicting that he will make three alterations to the side against Crvena Zvezda (Red Star Belgrade), with Leon Balogun, Aaron Ramsey and John Lundstram coming in.
Starting off at the back, we are predicting van Bronckhorst to make a big call with Balogun returning alongside Connor Goldson due to his form in Europe.
In the Europa League this season, the Nigerian stalwart has averaged a sublime SofaScore rating of 7.16 – a score only James Tavernier (7.39) can better for the Gers this term. He has played five games in the competition and has averaged an incredible 5.2 tackles and interceptions along with 2.0 clearances per game.
The ex-Wigan man has also won a whopping 65% of his individual duels, which shows that he has been a strong defender throughout the campaign in Europe so far and is part of the reasoning behind the call to start him. This could then lead to Borna Barisic being axed from the side, with Calvin Bassey moving across to left-back.
In the middle of the park, Lundstram could return in place of Ryan Jack. The ex-Sheffield United man was benched against Aberdeen but his Europa League form suggests that he should be starting tonight.
He has averaged a score of 6.92 in Europe for the Gers, scoring once and making 2.6 tackles and interceptions per game in midfield. This shows that he has been consistently impressive in the competition and that is why he should partner Glen Kamara in the middle of the park.
Finally, we are predicting that van Bronckhorst will opt for Scott Arfield out wide on the right over “firework” – as dubbed by Alan Hutton – Fashion Sakala. The Canadian started both legs against Dortmund and works hard down the flank, which could appeal to the Dutchman in what may turn out to be a cagey first leg.
This is not a change we would make, given Sakala’s three goals in his last six outings, but it is the alteration we think the head coach will make due to Arfield’s experience and the role he played against the German giants.