Rangers’ Champions League campaign has come down to the final day against Ajax as the club face up to potentially being named the worst ever side in group stage history.
Remarkably, there is also a scenario where Rangers can achieve Europa League football after Christmas but that involves a miraculous five goal victory which even the staunchest bluenose would be reluctant to back.
Rangers are currently the worst performing team in the competition this season with Czech outfit Viktoria Plzen only a goal behind.
It’s true that Rangers have been besieged by injuries in the first half of this season but the scale of the drubbings dished out at Champions League level has been a disgrace.
Ajax represents the final chance for the Rangers faithful to have something to cheer about from their first foray into the Champions League in 12 years – and here’s how we reckon Giovanni van Bronckhorst will set up.
Allan McGregor has reclaimed the number one spot and we suspect he will continue between the sticks as Rangers welcome the Dutch champions.
Captain James Tavernier was back in goalscoring form at the weekend and we fancy him to start alongside Leon King and Borna Barisic in defence.
With Ridvan Yilmaz sidelined for a few weeks and doubts surrounding Ben Davies, it’s hard to predict the back four as things stand but we reckon the ex-Liverpool man will pull through for this game.
In midfield, James Sands’ improved showing against Aberdeen may have earned him a start and with John Lundstram banned we reckon Steven Davis and Malik Tillman will also get the midfield nod.
As Rangers have to get something from the game, to restore some pride if not anything else, we also reckon the front three might be a little more attacking that we’ve seen in Europe.
Expect Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos to start, whilst Fashion Sakala has surely earned his chance to make the troublesome right-wing berth his own.
Rangers predicted XI v Ajax – 4-3-3
GK – Allan McGregor
DR – James Tavernier
DC – Leon King
DC – Ben Davies
DL – Borna Barisic
CDM – James Sands
CM – Steven Davis
CM – Malik Tillman
RW – Fashion Sakala
ST – Alfredo Morelos
LW – Ryan Kent