Our writers mull over Rangers' potential starting XI to face Malmo at the Eleda Stadion in their Champions League 3rd Qualifying round 1st leg tie.

Joshua Barrie

Steven Gerrard has mentioned rotation plenty in recent interviews, making it hard to predict who starts tomorrow.

The back five picks itself, particularly given McGregor, Helander and Barisic were all rested in the win over Livingston on Saturday. I can’t see Nathan Patterson playing ahead of James Tavernier when both are fit, at this point in time.

Moving up the pitch is where the guessing gets tricky. Kamara and Roofe are both suspended, and both would likely start in a first-choice 11. Ianis Hagi has travelled to Sweden after leaving the pitch injured on Saturday, which is a positive.

I personally prefer Joe Aribo in the front three instead of the midfield in Europe, with such defensive responsibility bestowed on the men on either side of Steven Davis.

But given Kamara’s absence, I think it may be the Nigerian international who joins John Lundstram and Davis in the engine room.

The front line is even harder to predict. Hagi doesn’t get the nod for me due to the pace of Scott Wright. In my opinion, Malmo will be going all out to win at home, given Rangers home record in European competition.

With that in mind, I’d pair the pace of Ryan Kent and Wright with the more physical presence of Cedric Itten. Eight of the 17 goals the Swede’s have conceded this season have come from crosses into the box. This pace from wide areas, combined with the presence of Itten makes sense to me.

Predicted line-up: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Helander, Barisic, Davis, Lundstram, Aribo, Wright, Itten, Kent.

Derek Clark

Rangers Review:


Rangers go into the game without Alfredo Morelos and suspended pair Kemar Roofe and Glen Kamara but Steven Gerrard still has plenty of options to choose from.

We know Allan McGregor will be back between the sticks after being rested in the weekend win over Livingston and I fully expect to see Borna Barisic and Filip Helander to return in place of Calvin Bassey and Leon Balogun.

With Kamara out, my money is on John Lundstram filling that role alongside Steven Davis and it's a toss-up between Joe Aribo and Scott Arfield.

I reckon Arfield may get the nod to give the midfield a bit more bite.

The front three is interesting. For me, Scott Wright played himself into the starting XI with his display off the bench against Livingston.  I'd like to see Cedric Itten lead the line with Ryan Kent playing off the big Swiss.

Predicted line-up: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Helander, Barisic, Davis, Lundstram, Arfield, Wright, Itten, Kent.

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Jonathan McFarlane

Rangers Review:

Steven Gerrard sprung a few surprises with his team at the weekend, but the clash with Malmo will be a first indication of what he sees as his strongest available line-up.

The manager will choose Filip Helander over Jack Simpson to partner Connor Goldson at the back. I'd expect the Swede to get the jersey given the magnitude of the match and his unmistakable defensive prowess. When it comes to defending, he's one to hang your hat on despite his lack of pace.

John Lundstram added another level to the midfield when he entered the fray against Livingston and I'd expect him to start against the Swedes given his muscularity and energy in the middle of the pitch.

With Glen Kamara suspended, Scott Arfield's experience and energy will be vital in the middle.

Fashion Sakala offered little against the Lions but should be afforded more space against a team who will come out with a more positive outlook at their home stadium.

If the striker can show flashes of what he offered against Real Madrid he's likely to be a match-winner.

Predicted line-up: McGregor, Tavernier, Barisic, Goldson, Helander, Lundstram, Davis, Arfield, Hagi, Kent, Sakala.