Rangers travel to Legia Warsaw on Thursday for the latest instalment of their quest to reach the Europa League group stage for the second year in succession.
Steven Gerrard’s side have won their last five competitive matches and have negotiated their way impressively past St Joseph’s, Progres and Midtjylland to reach the play-off round.
They will face their sternest challenge to date in Poland, where they tackle a Legia outfit that has not conceded a goal in their last five outings but is hardly prolific.
Can the Gers keep their fine run going?
|Game||Legia Warsaw vs Rangers|
|Date||Thursday, August 22|
|Time||7pm BST / 2pm ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game will be available for streaming on Rangers TV.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will not be broadcast on television but can be streamed via Rangers TV.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
Squads & Team News
|Position||Legia Warsaw squad|
|Goalkeepers||Majecki, Muzyk, Cierzniak|
|Defenders||Wieteska, Lewczuk, Luis Rocha, Vesovic, Inaki Astiz, Stolarski, Jedrzejczyk|
|Midfielders||Jodlowiec, Antolic, Gvilia, Niezgoda, Karbownik, Novikovas, Nagy, Andre Martins, Cafu, Praszelik|
|Forwards||Carlitos, Kante, Rosolek, Luquinhas, Kulenovic|
Legia Warsaw have seen Arvydas Novikovas and Vamara Sanogo both ruled out in attack. Midfielder Domagoj Antolic is set to miss out but Ivan Obradovic should be fit to take up a spot on the bench at the very least.
Possible Legia Warsaw starting XI: Majecki; Stolarski, Lewczuk, Jedrzejczyk, Rocha; Martins, Cafu; Vesovic, Gvilia, Luquinhas; Kulenovic
|Goalkeepers||McGregor, Foderingham, Firth|
|Defenders||Tavernier, Edmundson, Goldson, Katic, Polster, Barisic, Halliday, Flanagan|
|Midfielders||Jack, Davis, Ojo, Kamara, King, Barker, Aribo, Arfield|
|Forwards||Stewart, Morelos, Defoe, Jones, Hastie|
Jamie Murphy and Graham Dorrans are back playing for the development side but are not included in the European squad at this juncture, while Filip Helander and Greg Docherty have dropped out of the Europa League group to be replaced by new additions Brandon Barker and Andy King.
After making extensive changes for the match against East Fife on Sunday, Gerrard will revert to his strongest XI, although Glen Kamara may drop out.
Possible Rangers starting XI: McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Katic, Flanagan; Jack, Davis, Aribo; Ojo, Morelos, Arfield
Betting & Match Odds
Rangers are 13/10 favourites to win this match at bet365. Steven Gerrard’s men can be backed at 11/5 to get a draw, while a Legia Warsaw victory is on offer at 11/5.
Click here to see all of bet365’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more .
It has been an impressive start to the season for Steven Gerrard’s Rangers side, yet they travel to Legia Warsaw in the Europa League with much on the line.
A £7 million ($8.5m) windfall for qualifying for the group stage represents significant money to the Glasgow outfit, and while they flexed their muscles as they dispatched Midtjylland 7-3 on aggregate, the trip to Poland is expected to be a very different experience.
If the Danes were a stronger side on paper, the unique atmosphere that the Gers will face when they travel to the Polish Army Stadium will pose a fresh challenge to Gerrard’s men.
Nevertheless, former Motherwell defender Tom Hately, who plays for the Piast Gliwice that stunningly won the Polish league last season, believes that the Ibrox side will have too much for their hosts over two legs.
“I expect that Rangers will be too strong for Legia, and that’s the way the tie is being viewed over here too,” he told the Evening Times.
“Legia are expected to be the side winning trophies over here and they expect to win the league, so it was a real shock to them when we won it. It is a little like a Hearts, maybe, winning the title in Scotland, so you can imagine how that would go down in Glasgow. It would have been the same in Warsaw after we won it.
“With the strikers Rangers have, I just think they can outscore Legia and I expect them to go through.”
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The Scottish side’s attack is set to have its work cut out, though. Legia boast five successive cleansheets, although they have scored only three times themselves during these fixtures.
In the previous round of the Europa League, they edged Atromitos 2-0 on aggregate, while they struggled past Finnish side KuPS 1-0 over two legs and were unimpressive as they defeated Gibralta outfit Europa 3-0, having drawn the first leg 0-0 away from home.
Rangers, who have won all of their last five games, scoring 18 goals in the process, should be quietly confident of successfully negotiating this tie before the big Old Firm game against Celtic on September 1.