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Rangers: Van Bronckhorst’s predicted XI for Europa League clash

Rangers return to European action as the Ibrox side travel away to Serbia in hope of securing a place in the last-eight of the competition.

Gio van Bronckhorst’s side come into the game with a 3-0 advantage from the first leg and need to put in a professional performance to see out the match and book their spot in the quarter-finals.

They come into this clash with Red Star Belgrade off the back of a 3-0 win in the Scottish Cup last weekend, thanks to goals from Connor Goldson, James Tavernier and Leon Balogun.

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How many changes will Gio make to the team from that victory? Here is our predicted XI…

We are predicting that he will make three alterations to the side, with Allan McGregor, John Lundstram and Leon Balogun all coming back in.

Starting off between the sticks, McGregor should come back in for Jon McLaughlin. Whilst the latter kept a clean sheet last weekend against Dundee FC, the former has been the number one throughout van Bronckhorst’s time at Ibrox and should be starting in goal this evening.

The 40-year-old was crucial in the first leg as he made a terrific stop from the penalty spot to deny Red Star Belgrade the chance to get a foothold in the match. This allowed Rangers to go on and see out the win with a clean sheet, which is why he deserves to be in the XI.

At the back, Filip Helander, who has been compared to David Weir this term, is not registered to play and that means there will need to be a change at centre-back. Balogun started, and scored, in the first leg and that makes him the obvious candidate to slot straight back into the team.

In midfield, we are predicting that John Lundstram will come in to replace on-loan gem James Sands. The £3.6m-rated USA international played as part of a back three against Dundee FC and Lundstram should start in order to switch formation to a back four in a 4-3-3 set-up – playing alongside Glen Kamara and Ryan Jack, which was the midfield three that was so successful in the first leg.

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We also predict that Aaron Ramsey will keep his place on the right of the attack. Former Scotland captain Colin Hendry praised him as being “efficient” and his vast experience and composure could be key to seeing out this game.

The wizard has played over 400 times for Juventus and Arsenal, with a host of games in the Europa League and Champions League, which is why van Bronckhorst should keep him in the side for this match.

AND in other news, Sold at £4m, then became the “best forward ever”: Rangers had a howler on 274-goal gem…