Rangers are back in Europa League action tonight and Steven Gerrard’s starting XI looks likely to feature a number of changes from the weekend win over Kilmarnock as the Gers look to end Benfica’s incredible run of 23 consecutive home wins in the competition.
After the 1-0 win at Rugby Park on Sunday, Gerrard’s side can extend their own fantastic run and the Ibrox boss is almost certain to make use of his squad for the Lisbon clash.
The Gers boss has the “majority” of his squad available and it is likely to be pretty much a full-strength Rangers side that lines up against Jorge Jesus’ Benfica.
While Gerrard now has the likes of Joe Aribo and Kemar Roofe looking ready to go tomorrow night, the side will likely have a familiar look tomorrow night.
The defensive unit of Allan McGregor, James Tavernier, Connor Goldson, Filip Helander and Borna Barisic appears to be the best overall mix for the Gers.
Helander and Goldson have formed a good relationship together while Barisic and Tavernier’s performances speak for themselves this season.
The midfield throws up a host of different options for Gerrard but with Benfica sure to see plenty of possession tomorrow night, Rangers may be best served looking to hit the hosts on the counter and the central trio of Ryan Jack, Glen Kamara and Scott Arfield should get the nod.
Steven Davis could maybe feel a bit hard done by but Jack’s defensive prowess and Kamara’s ability to dictate the tempo would really suit how the Gers may look to play – while Arfield’s near-endless energy will offer the Light Blues a quick escape on the break.
Ahead of them, Ryan Kent and Ianis Hagi should again be tasked with providing the ammo for Alfredo Morelos and, although it might not be the popular choice, it’s one that Rangers and Gerrard know exactly what they are getting.
Morelos is the ideal choice of the several strikers available to lead the line and really put the Benfica defence under pressure and create openings while Hagi and Kent can both bring that little big of magic needed to snatch a goal.
Having the likes of Davis, Kemar Roofe, Cedric Itten, and Joe Aribo on the bench still leaves Gerrard a host of different options as the game progresses.
With two wins from two so far in the group, a win tonight would be massive but if Rangers can return to Scotland with a point it’ll be a good night’s work.
Here’s how we think Rangers line up against Benfica: