Rangers will be eyeing a huge European scalp against an out-of-shape Liverpool side when the two side’s meet at Ibrox tonight.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men knocked out a few of Europe’s largest clubs en route to the Europa League final last season, but they have struggled to replicate that type of performance within the Champions League, having lost all three group stages matches so far.
The Light Blues were outplayed in an underwhelming display at Anfield last week as they lost 2-0 to Jurgen Klopp’s Reds and the Glasgow giants will know that failing to win would mean they cannot advance to the knockout stages of the competition.
They currently sit rock bottom of Group A and have yet to score after conceding NINE goals, to Ajax, Napoli and Liverpool combined.
A number of key players were rested during Saturday’s 4-0 victory over St Mirren in the Scottish Premiership, meaning the Gers squad should be heading into this massive encounter feeling relatively fresh for one of the club’s biggest European fixtures in recent history.
Here, GlasgowWorld predicts how Rangers will line up against Liverpool at Ibrox:
Giovanni van Bronckhorst claims he won’t have any issues making a key selection call and leave one of his strikers on the bench for their make-or-break clash with Liverpool.
The Dutchman elected to start with Alfredo Morelos up front at Anfield last week, given his impressive European credentials, but the Colombian had to watch on from the dugout on Saturday as Antonio Colak increased his tally to 13 goals for the campaign with a third successive brace.
Speaking in his pre-match media conference last night, Van Bronckhorst said: “They are both strikers, but their strengths and their way of playing is a bit different. They are both natural goal scorers, that’s for sure.
“So for me it’s always a case of seeing what we need in games, who is in form, who do we think will be the big option. That’s not only for the striker, but for the other 10 who are playing.
“I think it’s a normal process in the days prior to a game. We are going to start with 11 players who I think are capable of getting a good result. You pick your 11. You sometimes have players who need a one-on-one conversation.
“Sometimes you don’t because you concentrate on the first 11. It’s a normal process not only for the striker but also for the goalie, your defence and midfield.
“For me, it’s no problem. It’s about taking a decision together with your staff and then communicating it to the players. Prepare them for the task ahead - your tactics but also what we can expect from Liverpool. That’s my job and it’s also a part I like.”
With defeat simply out of the question on this occasion, Rangers are likely to revert back to a more attack-minded 4-2-3-1 formation, with teenager Leon King likely to drop out.
ALLAN McGREGOR: (GK) - The 40-year-old’s heroics at Anfield last week kept the scoreline respectable and he’ll deservedly take his place between the sticks.
JAMES TAVERNIER: (RB) - The skipper is nailed on retain his spot but will need to be more aggressive in his attacking play.
CONNOR GOLDSON: (CB) - Rangers standout performer at the heart of a back five in Merseyside. Will be looking to maintain that performance level here.
BEN DAVIES: (CB) - Seems to be gradually finding his feet in the side with each game and expected to keep his newly-formed partnership alongside Goldson intact.
BORNA BARISIC: (LB) - Found the going tough up against Mohamed Salah at Anfield but will have a better understand of the Egyptian striker now.
JOHN LUNDSTRAM: (CDM) - Likely to occupy one of the holding midfield roles and has promised not to give Liverpool as much time on the ball as they enjoyed last week.
RYAN JACK: (CM) - The onus will be on him to dictate the play as best as possible. Can also provide cover for Tavernier at right-back if required.
SCOTT ARFIELD: (CAM) - Can provide real energy and drive plus an added goal threat. I’d be tempted to start him in favour of Malik Tillman.
RYAN KENT: (LW) - Will undoubtedly continue to start on the left but needs to rediscover his best form, which he has been severely lacking so far this season.
FASHION SAKALA: (RW) - Deserves to retain his spot on the right flank after a brilliant second half performance against St Mirren on Saturday. Looked sharp also when introduced late on at Anfield.
ANTONIO COLAK: (CF) - Started on the bench at Anfield but proved his worth by netting another two goals against St Mirren at the weekend. His goal return and blistering form at present is too good to drop.
On the bench: McLaughlin (GK), McCrorie (GK), Yilmaz, Davis, Matondo, Morelos, Kamara, Sands, Morelos, Wright, King, Devine, Tillman.