Rangers travel to Poland this Thursday to face Legia Warsaw in what is undoubtedly their biggest game of the season so far.
The Europa League group stages – and the relative riches they can bring to Ibrox – are within touching distance.
All that stands between Rangers and the potential £7m windfall is Poland’s premier club and some 30,000 passionate, notorious Polish supporters.
Legia’s Polish Army Stadium is famous for its intense, fiery atmosphere and such is the attention this game will get you can bet they’ll be on fine form come Thursday night.
Whilst there are numerous suggestions Rangers go into this match favourites [Evening Times] – having dispatched the apparently superior FC Midtjylland very effectively – how Gerrard’s team handle the heat of Warsaw will speak volumes of their ambitions this season.
A trip to Legia is somewhat different from Gibraltar, Luxembourg, Denmark, or even Kilmarnock.
Expect Steven Gerrard to put a full strength, robust side out who will be able to compete with Legia physically whilst also having that experience and quality to see the side through.
This will be a tough game – and not just because of the crowd. Expect Legia to be physical, to interrupt our play and frustrate Rangers.
And that’s why I expect Ryan Jack will start in place of Glen Kamara – perhaps the biggest decision on the night.
We’ll need every ounce of that experience to guide us through this tie and expect the likes of Allan McGregor, Steven Davis and Scott Arfield to also play big roles on the night.Filip Helander probably stands as the biggest omission from this tie – the Swedish international has been left out of Rangers’ Europa League squad for the tie.
But apart from that Rangers go to Eastern Europe with a full-squad ready to grab this opportunity.
Here’s the XI to set us up for a huge night at Ibrox next week.