Rangers play FC Ufa in the second leg of the UEFA Europa League play-off fixture at the Neftyanik Stadium. Having taken one step into the league already with a 1-0 home win, Gers will go into this game on a positive note.
Although Gerrard’s side leaked goals last time out against Motherwell, they have kept three clean sheets in three away matches in this competition. They go as favourites, but one can expect a hostile reception from the vibrant Russian crowd.
Jamie Murphy, who picked up an ACL injury a few days back, joins the absentee’s list consisting of Graham Dorrans, Lee Wallace and Jordan Rossiter. Lassana Coulibaly too is likely to be sidelined for this crucial match.
The outstanding Allan McGregor will be the commander-in-chief of the defence, from goal. The back four is most likely to remain the same – Flanagan and Tavernier as full-backs, Katic and Goldson as centre-backs. Their partnership at the back has been highly impressive this season so far.
Ryan Jack is the architect of this side. He brings-in stability to the midfield and foils the back line. The holding midfielder is also an excellent passer.
Scott Arfield and the young Ejaria will play ahead of him. They will aid the wingers, making strong runs into the box and provide cover to the full-backs. Due to their running ability and narrow average position, the likes of Ryan Kent and Candeias will get the chance to stretch the opposition, pick the ball high up the pitch and run at the defence.
Alfredo Morelos has already netted six goals this season, but new addition Kyle Lafferty scored two on his second debut to give the coaching staff a selection headache. However, going by the lead Rangers have at the moment, it is safe to say Gerrard will opt to play just one striker – Morelos.
Probable XI (4-3-3)
Jon Flanagan – Nikola Katic – Connor Goldson – James Tavernier
Ryan Jack – Scott Arfield – Ovie Ejaria
Daniel Candeias – Ryan Kent – Alfredo Morelos