Predicted Rangers XI vs Sparta Prague

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Rangers will be hoping to move up to second in their Europa League group as they host Sparta Prague at Ibrox on Thursday night.

The Gers face off against the Czech outfit with only goal difference separating the two sides in the group, with a win for the hosts enough for them to move into the top two and on the verge of qualification for the knockouts.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst will be in the dugout for the first time after taking over from Steven Gerrard, having watched on from the stands as the club lost 3-1 to Hibernian in the League Cup on Sunday.

Will Rangers beat Sparta?




How many changes will Gio make from the side he watched? Here is our predicted XI…

We are predicting that he will make five alterations to his side, with Fashion Sakala, Ianis Hagi, Juninho Bacuna, Jack Simpson and Calvin Bassey coming in.

He has already confirmed that changes will be made to the XI, whilst he has also stated that they will line up in a system he wants to play. Van Bronckhorst said:

“You will definitely see some changes. You will see a team in a system I like to play and how I feel is best to play against Prague.

“We are not happy with the result or the goals conceded on Sunday. We have to be much more focused and compact in the defensive side of the match.”

The Dutchman’s favoured formation is said to be a 4-2-3-1, which is why we are predicting Joe Aribo to move away from the wing and into the number 10 role ahead of Bacuna and Scott Arfield. The former could come into the side for Steven Davis to add an extra attacking flair from midfield, having managed a goal and an assist against Ross County prior to the international break.

In defence, FFC published an article explaining why Jack Simpson should be handed a start over Leon Balogun, who could be axed, at centre-back. Calvin Bassey could also be thrown into the XI to freshen things up and we have predicted him to play ahead of Borna Barisic, but he could be picked ahead of Connor Goldson at centre-back with the Croatian keeping his place.

On the right wing, with Aribo vacating the position to play behind the striker, Hagi may return to the XI. The Romanian international scored off the bench against Brondby in Rangers’ last outing in the competition and could provide a goal threat from out wide.

Finally, Fashion Sakala should lead the line, with Alfredo Morelos dropping down to the bench after a poor showing against Hibs last weekend.

AND in other news, Gio’s first big Ibrox blow could soon be inbound, it would make Rangers fans upset…

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