Rangers play Villarreal in Europa League action on Thursday night, with Steven Gerrard’s side needing a victory to have any chance of qualifying for the round of 32.

The Yellow Submarine currently sit top of Group G with six points, having won against Rapid Wien and drawing their other three fixtures.

Rangers and Villarreal played out a 2-2 draw in October.
(Photo by Maria Jose Segovia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Rangers come into this game on the back of some impressive form. Gerrard’s side have racked up 10 goals in their last two games following the disappointing 4-3 defeat to Spartak Moscow. Villarreal are also in good form heading into the crucial clash at Ibrox, having suffered one defeat in their past eight fixtures.

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Both sides have to win to give themselves the best possible chance of qualification from group G. It will be a tight contest, with key battles all over the park.

These are three head-to-heads which could affect the Ibrox clash on Thursday.

Morelos vs Funes Mori

Alfredo Morelos is on fire at the moment, having scored in six consecutive league games. He’s also scored four times in the Europa League.


Morelos has been in top form for Rangers. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The man tasked with stopping the Colombian is former Everton man Ramiro Funes Mori. The Argentine has been a great signing for Villarreal boss Javi Calleja, looking assured and comfortable in possession when he has played.


Morelos is in the form of his life, but this will be one of his biggest tests. If he can also do the damage against an Argentine international, Gerrard will know he has a real star on his hands. However, the Colombian must keep a level head.

Fornals vs Jack

Tipped to replace Aaron Ramey at Arsenal according to the Mirror, Pablo Fornals is a key attacking outlet for Villarreal. A very direct number 10, Fornals is able to feed the ball into the final third, quickly and efficiently.

It’ll be Ryan Jack’s task to stop the Arsenal target. The Scottish international is pivotal to the Rangers side in a game like this. If he plays well, he can reduce Fornals’ impact on proceedings. That allows player like Scott Arfield to express themselves in the final third.

Fornals could be the main attacking threat for Villarreal. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

This battle could decide who wins the whole contest.

Moreno vs Goldson

Gerard Moreno has played in every game for the Yellow Submarine this season. Calleja will also need him to perform well if the Spaniards are to win at Ibrox.

Connor Goldson has been a revelation at the back for Rangers since joining from Brighton in the summer. Similar to Moreno, Goldson has been a consistent figure in Rangers’ starting XI. He’s played all but one game this season and another big performance is needed from the centre-back.

Goldson has also played in every Europa League fixture for Rangers.
(Photo by Maria Jose Segovia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Rangers have been solid in defence at Ibrox. If Goldson plays to his maximum, he should have no problem dealing with Moreno.

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