Ahead of Rangers’ Europa League playoff second leg against Alashkert in Armenia, we’ve put together a Predicted XI.
It’s an important fixture for the Gers and a lacklustre display in the first leg at Ibrox last week has given them plenty of work to do, as they only have a one-goal advantage on aggregate.
Matters have been complicated considerably by a Covid outbreak, too, with Steven Gerrard absent from the group that flew from Glasgow Airport to Yerevan on Wednesday afternoon.
None of Allan McGregor, Jon McLaughlin, James Tavernier, Calvin Bassey, Scott Wright or Ryan Kent travelled either [Sky Sports], while Kemar Roofe and John Lundstram are suspended and Fashion Sakala missed out on the extended squad due to a groin injury.
Gary McAllister will be very short of options on the bench as a result, but the starting XI should still be strong.
Robby McCrorie is set to make his competitive Gers debut in goal. It’s not an ideal scenario but the 23-year-old has over 80 senior appearances under his belt from five different loan spells and is being backed to shine.
Elsewhere in the team, there certainly won’t be a lack of European experience.
The back four should consist of Nathan Patterson, Connor Goldson, Filip Helander and Borna Barisic, while in midfield, Steven Davis, Glen Kamara and Scott Arfield could all start.
While the absences of Sakala, Kent and Wright mean the Gers will be a little short of pace at the top end of the pitch, there’s still plenty of quality in a potential front three of Joe Aribo, Ianis Hagi and Alfredo Morelos.
Due to the lack of experience on the bench, supporters will be hoping that most players can last the full 90 minutes, despite the stifling forecasted conditions in Yerevan.
Rangers Predicted XI vs Alashkert (A) 26/08/2021:
GK – Robby McCrorie
RB – Nathan Patterson
CB – Connor Goldson
CB – Filip Helander
LB – Borna Barisic
CDM – Steven Davis
CM – Scott Arfield
CM – Glen Kamara
RIF – Joe Aribo
LIF – Ianis Hagi
ST – Alfredo Morelos