Rangers welcome Russian side FC Ufa to the Ibrox on Thursday to battle it out in the UEFA Europa League play-off’s first leg fixture. Since taking charge of the Scottish giants, Gerrard has been unbeaten in his 10 games so far, winning six of them whilst conceding just four goals in that period.
In 6 European excursions, Gers have kept a promising four clean sheets. On the other side, they have shared points with opponents in three of the last five matches in this competition.
They have beaten Shkupi, Osijek and Maribor to get to this playoff stage. However, Gerrard and co. will be without Jamie Murphy, who is out for the remainder of the season following a knee injury sustained in the game against Kilmarnock. Jordan Rossiter, Graham Dorrans and Lee Wallace remain sidelined.
The in-form Allan McGregor will form the last line of defence. He was absolutely breathtaking in the previous European fixture and will look to carry on from where he left.
The effective duo of Connor Goldson and Nikola Katic will be seen at the heart of defence. Apart from their individual capabilities, they are technically sound and able. Both of them communicate well and compliment each other at the back.
Former Liverpool man Jon Flanagan is a no-nonsense defender who’ll play at left back. He can also whip some venomous crosses into the opposition box. The physicality and aerial ability of James Tavernier will be witnessed at right-back.
Ovie Ejaria and Ryan Jack will man the central midfield. The England U-21 international seems to have taken off since his debut against Shkupi. He is disciplined, agile and intelligent. Jack will protect the center-backs, play as an extra man in defence if required and keep the game going by spraying passes from a deeper role.
Former Burnley forward Scott Arfield will play at the number 10 position. He offers loads of work rate and defensive cover. In addition to that, he is also an excellent finisher.
Ryan Kent and Daniel Candeias will occupy the wings. They will inject pace into the attack, create chances and be the architects of Rangers’ forward play.
Alfredo Morelos, who struck a hat-trick against Killie, will spearhead the attack. He is quick, strong and a fine passer. Also to mention, he looks livelier and sharper than ever.
Probable line-up: (4-2-3-1)
Flanagan – Goldson – Katic – Tavernier
Ejaria – Jack
Kent – Arfield – Candeias