Key winger to drop out for Maribor clash? Who should Gerrard pick for crunch Europa League tie?
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Predicted XI vs NK Maribor

It was another successful day at the office for Rangers on Sunday, but who will Steven Gerrard pick against Maribor?

First-half strikes from Alfredo Morelos and Connor Goldson put the Gers on their way. A red card for Ross McCrorie meant that there were nervy spells. However, in the end, Rangers were always in cruise control and fully deserved their first three points of the campaign.

Despite the impressive dominance of the win, Gerrard will surely make a couple of tweaks against Maribor in Slovenia on Thursday night. The question fans would be asking however is who deserves the chop?

In essence, the answer to that question is nobody. However, to keep the freshness and efficiency rolling, Gerrard will undoubtedly make some tweaks.

Tavernier will return to line-up on Thursday (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The first is enforced. Former NK Osijek man Borna Barisic won’t be eligible to play in the Europa League for Rangers after starring for the Croatians in rounds one and two of qualification. This will mean a simple change of Flanagan back to left-back and captain James Tavernier to come back into the side down the right.

Tavernier continues to be a fine performer for the club. Despite perhaps having to get used to a more rotational system with Barisic’s arrival, the right-back will continue to play a key role.

Gerrard’s optional changes could include key winger Jamie Murphy dropping out in Slovenia. Murphy has failed to win over the supporters in his displays so far this season. Despite putting in a reasonable shift against St Mirren, Murphy still struggled to create enough in the final third to cement his place.

Daniel Candeias could come in for former Motherwell attacker Murphy. The winger is a much-adored part of the Rangers family as he continues to give his all for the club every time he’s on the pitch. Supporters have really taken to Candeias’ desire, and he could be given another shot on Thursday.

Candeias could make a return to the side in Slovenia ahead of Murphy (Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Another natural replacement may be Scott Arfield back into the side for McCrorie. The youngster was sent off after a rash challenge to put Rangers up against it on Sunday. Arfield is therefore the man to step back in.

This change would also allow Coulibaly to stay back and allow Ejaria and Arfield to create in the final third.

Gerrard has stated that he now has options all over the squad, and that it allows him to tweak his midfield. If he decided to do so in such a massive game, it would be a big surprise.

The chances are any changes to the squad are minimal to keep the momentum going. However, some key performers simply must return for the Maribor clash.

PREDICTED XI:

ALLAN MCGREGOR (GK)

JAMES TAVERNIER (RB)

NIKOLA KATIC (CB)

CONNOR GOLDSON (CB)

JON FLANAGAN (LB)

DANIEL CANDEIAS (RM)

LASSANA COULIBALY (CDM)

OVIE EJARIA (CM)

SCOTT ARFIELD (CM)

RYAN KENT (LM)

ALFREDO MORELOS (ST)

 

 

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