Rangers take on Royal Antwerp on Thursday night in the first leg of a Europa League Round of 32 tie.
It’s a first European assignment in over two months for the Gers, who have passed all previous tests this season with flying colours.
They sailed through three rounds of qualifying before topping Group D and earning a favourable tie against Antwerp, who finished second in Group J.
The Belgian club’s boss, Franky Vercauteren, has limited options ahead of the clash with a number of key players ruled out through injury or suspension.
There are some concerns regarding the fitness of skipper James Tavernier [Glasgow Live] and the availability of both Nathan Patterson and Calvin Bassey, but, contrastingly, Steven Gerrard should have close to a full squad to choose from.
Allan McGregor is set to retain his place in goal, while, if passed fit, Tavenier is likely to join Connor Goldson, Leon Balogun and Borna Barisic in an unchanged back four.
There is a tough decision to make in the middle of the park, but we’re predicting that the manager will revert to a traditional midfield three, with Finland international Glen Kamara returning to the side in place of Joe Aribo to join in-form duo Ryan Jack and Steven Davis.
Big calls will also be required regarding the front three, with a host of players available and a number of different combinations possible.
However, with Kemar Roofe available for this game but not for the weekend Premiership clash against Dundee United and Alfredo Morelos fresh after serving a domestic suspension of his own, we’re backing both players to return to the XI.
Roofe would replace Ianis Hagi in the inside right forward berth, while Morelos would come in for Cedric Itten, with Ryan Kent holding onto his spot on the left.
Rangers Predicted XI vs Royal Antwerp (A) – 18/02/2021:
Rangers have already earned a substantial amount of Europa League prize money this season but here’s why they won’t receive a cash reward from UEFA even if they win in Antwerp on Thursday night.