Predicted XI - How Rangers could line up against Dutch giants Ajax in Champions League on Matchday 1

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The Ibrox club will make their long-awaited return to Champions League group stage football in Amsterdam this evening.

Rangers will face Dutch giants Ajax at the Johan Cruyff Arena tonight in what will be their first Champions League encounter in 12 years.

The Ibrox side have been starved of a place at Europe’s top table for over a decade and had to overcome opposition from the Netherlands in the shape of PSV Eindhoven to reach the group stage of the competition.

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First up is a trip to Amsterdam to go head-to-head with Alfred Schreuder’s side, who have began their domestic title defence with five victories from their opening five matches.

Ajax have been going through a transitional phase this summer following the departure of manager Erik ten Haag to Manchester United and 15 players including a number of star performers.

The club have made ten new additions, including former Gers defender Calvin Bassey who was sold for a club-record transfer fee in July.

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GlasgowWorld predicts how Rangers could line up against their Dutch opponents this evening as they look to bounce back from their humbling derby defeat to Celtic:

Giovanni van Bronckhorst is unlikely to divert away from his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation but the Dutchman has some huge calls to make on returning to his homeland, particularly with who to start between the sticks.

Goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin was at fault for at least three of the goals his side conceded against their Glasgow rivals at the weekend and veteran stopper Allan McGregor could be drafted in.

However van Bronckhost hinted it’s unlikely he will drop McLaughlin and hit back at claims he should make a significant number of changes to his side.

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Speaking in his press conference last night, van Bronckhors said: “If there after defeats the first thing you will do as a manager is reflect on your own decisions - that’s where it starts and I want the players to do the same thing.

“I can’t change everything from Saturday and play with a different team. I think you have to keep hold of the way of playing, you keep trusting your players and give them confidence.

“In the past we have bounced back from heavy defeats and that’s what we need to do here.

“I have spoken with Jon and the rest of the team about what went wrong, the way we conded goals and what we have to do to improve and that’s a normal process.

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“You cannot change everything every time you have a defeat. You have to stick to your beliefs and your way of playing.”

JON McLAUGHLIN: (GK) - Van Bronckhorst suggested he will continue to stick with the ex-Hearts and Sunderland stopper, despite his poor derby performance.

JAMES TAVERNIER: (RB) - Faces a tough task up against the in-form Steven Bergwijn and will need to be at his best, both defensively and at set-piece offerings.

CONNOR GOLDSON: (CB) - Defensive stalwart who hasn’t quite reached the levels he was once at a few seasons ago but difficult to see him being dropped, given Rangers lack of centre-half options.

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JAMES SANDS: (CB) - Expected to keep his place in the side and partner Goldson once again, despite Ben Davies nearing a return to full fitness.

BORNA BARISIC: (LB) - One of the brighter performers against Celtic and will hope his deliveries into the box are of a similar high standard.

JOHN LUNDSTRAM: (CM) - Marshalled the midfield in Eindhoven last month and expected to start once again.

GLEN KAMARA: (CM) - Subbed after 45 minutes at the weekend and will hope to make much more of an impact tonight.

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SCOTT ARFIELD: (RW) - Scored twice against Queen of the South in the League Cup last midweek and has plenty of big game experience under his belt.

MALIK TILLMAN: (CAM) - The Bayern Munich loanee looked one of Rangers’ better threats against Celtic and will continue in a central No.10 role.

RYAN KENT: (LW) - A case can be made that he deserves to be dropped to the bench but the winger has proven he can be so effective on the European stage.

ANTONIO COLAK: (CF) - The Croatian has seven goals in his last 10 matches and is likely to lead the line once more.

On the bench: McGregor (GK), McCrorie (GK), Yilmaz, Jack, Morelos, Davis, Matondo, Wright, Sakala, King, Devine

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