Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has named his starting XI to face Benfica in tonight’s Europa League clash, with Gers midfielders Ryan Jack and Joe Aribo missing out – and fans are concerned over the Nigerian’s absence.
After beating Aberdeen 4-0 over the weekend, Gerrard has made X changes to his starting XI with the Light Blues on the brink of securing their place in the last 32 of the competition as Jack failed to get over the knock which kept him out of training yesterday.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) November 26, 2020
The Light Blues line up with the same back five from the win over Aberdeen, Steven Davis, Scott Arfield and Glen Kamara in central midfield and Kemar Roofe, Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos making up the front three.
Jack has been in outstanding form for both club and country recently, helping the Gers to extend their lead at top of the Premiership table and Scotland to book a spot at the European Championships
The 28-year-old picked up a knock in the Aberdeen win and Gerrard confessed he was a doubt when he spoke to the media yesterday morning as the busy schedule takes its toll.
The Light Blues go into the game unbeaten at home to Portuguese clubs in UEFA competition, winning the first five of the nine matches against Portuguese sides, then drawing the next two – both to Benfica’s city rivals Sporting CP – before overcoming Porto 2-0 and Braga 3-2 in last season’s Europa League.
The Lisbon giants have won only one of their five previous European ties in Scotland – the first, 2-1 against Hearts in the 1960/61 European Cup preliminary round – then recording three consecutive defeats against Celtic before a 0-0 draw in the 2012/13 Champions League group stage at Parkhead.
Surprisingly, despite playing in Glasgow on four occasions in European competition, Benfica have never scored in the city and Rangers will be hoping to extend that record further.
With both sides on seven points after the opening three games, a win for Rangers coupled with a victory for Standard Liege against Lech Poznan would see the Gers secure their place in the last 32 with two games to spare.
Here are some of the comments from Rangers fans, concerned over Aribo’s absence:
I don't see Aribo pic.twitter.com/m3bLb4smu4
— Bongani_Cartel (@Pena_Cartel) November 26, 2020
Good lineup. Hope nothing serious with Aribo though 😕
— TommyC 🇬🇧💙🏴 (@Tommy_C88) November 26, 2020
Hopefully big Aribo out is just precautionary? 👀
Would of preferred Helander and save Balogun for the weekend but let’s get at them tonight Gers!! 💙
— Jamie Macdonald (@jambo87) November 26, 2020
Great team but where is joe😢
— Zak winning🇬🇧 (@Zakwinning1) November 26, 2020
Aribo what happens to him. Big big miss
— dad bods matter (@BorlandDunk) November 26, 2020
What’s up with Aribo? Have I missed something?
— EmpireFF (@EmpireFF) November 26, 2020
Whoa hold on a minute. Where’s Aribo, he’s not even on the bench. Please tell me he’s not injured … https://t.co/FNzvC6QGJ2
— Cheryl (@gers_chezza) November 26, 2020