Ryan Jack misses out: Rangers predicted XI v Royal Antwerp
Steven Gerrard could be forced to make one change to his starting line-up as Rangers take on Royal Antwerp in the Europa League on Thursday night.
Rangers welcome Antwerp to Ibrox this week for the second leg of their round-of-32 tie with the Belgian club. Last week, the Light Blues left it late to win 4-3 at The Bosuilstadion.
Since then, Gerrard has overseen his team win 4-1 against Dundee United in the Premiership but that victory came at a cost when Ryan Jack was substituted off in the first half.
Speaking after the win over Micky Mellon’s side at Ibrox on Sunday, Gerrard confirmed that Jack’s early substitution was precautionary. He said: “Hopefully we have got to the injury before it becomes an injury.
“He felt some tightness in his calf early in the game. He hasn’t felt anything tear which is good but we are going to have to scan it and see what the damage is but fingers crossed he is not out because he is so important to us.”
While we’re yet to see an update on Jack’s fitness, it would be fair to assume that he won’t be risked in the starting line-up against Antwerp on Thursday.
As a result, we predict that Gerrard will make just one change to the side that started against Dundee United and that will be for Glen Kamara to come in and replace Scotland international Jack in the midfield.
That means that Allan McGregor is likely to start in goals behind a back-four of Leon Balogun, Connor Goldson, Filip Helander and Borna Barisic. James Tavernier remains sidelined.
In the midfield, Joe Aribo is likely to start with the aim of building on his man of the match performance versus the Tangerines on Sunday. Steven Davis and Kamara could join him in the middle of the park.
With Kemar Roofe still injured, the attack could be unchanged too with Ianis Hagi and Ryan Kent both starting either side of centre-forward Alfredo Morelos.
Rangers know that even a one-goal defeat could be enough to qualify for the last-16 of the Europa League thanks to their impressive four away goals in Antwerp last week.
However, with the Gers in such good form at Ibrox this season, you would imagine that Gerrard and his men will want to go for the jugular and quality for the next round in style.
In other Rangers news, a high-profile journalist was denied access to Ibrox on Sunday.