Rangers face Czech Republic outfit Sparta Prague in the Europa League tonight as they go in search of their first win in the group stage.
French side Lyon beat the Gers 2-0 in the opening match of the group, with Toto Ekambi and an own goal from James Tavernier doing the damage.
Steven Gerrard’s side come into the game off the back of a 1-0 win over Dundee FC in the Scottish Premiership at the weekend, thanks to Joe Aribo’s superb goal.
How many changes will Gerrard make to his team from that game? Here is our predicted XI…
We are predicting that he will make four changes to his side, with Borna Barisic, Juninho Bacuna, Allan McGregor and Fashion Sakala coming in.
Starting between the sticks, we believe that Allan McGregor will return in place of Jon McLaughlin. This is not down to the latter’s form, but simply because Gerrard has been alternating in goal this season and McLaughlin played in the Premiership against Dundee, suggesting that McGregor will now get his opportunity in the Europa League.
In defence, Borna Barisic could return at left-back in place of Calvin Bassey. Barisic was sublime in the Europa League for Rangers last season, with three goals and three assists in 10 appearances, and his proven quality at this level could make his inclusion an easy decision for Gerrard.
The Croatian averaged a SofaScore rating of 7.19 in the competition, whilst creating 1.8 chances per game from the left-back position. That is why we are predicting that he will be lining up at left-back tonight.
In midfield, John Lundstram should be axed from the XI to make way for Juninho Bacuna. Gerrard recently admitted as much and we published an article explaining why he should be given the start against Sparta. Lundstram has only started three games across the Premiership and Europa League this season, suggesting that he will be the player Gerrard axes to get Bacuna in the side.
Finally, we predict that Sakala will come in for Ianis Hagi with Gerrard changing the shape from a 4-3-1-2 to a 4-3-3, with Morelos and Roofe keeping their places in the team.
We published an article explaining why Sakala should start, with his ability to score goals potentially providing Rangers with the edge they need to win the game.