GIOVANNI van Bronckhorst will make his managerial bow with Rangers this evening in the Europa League when Sparta Prague travel to Glasgow.

The Ibrox tie was colossal in its significance long before news of the appointment. The game presents the chance of reaching the Europa League knock-out stages for a third consecutive season.

Ianis Hagi’s equaliser against Brondby earlier in the campaign sees Rangers approach this tie level on points with today’s opponents.

Looking back at that match, and Sparta's Europa League campaign to this point, the squad will need to return to European levels of previous seasons to secure a passage into the next round.

The Czech outfit were of course 1-0 victors in the reverse leg. A game that they deserved to take three points from.

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A number of those opportunities arrived as the visiting side chased a goal, however. Plus, Glen Kamara was sent off for a soft second yellow card in the second 45.

Rangers and Sparta Prague sit side-by-side in the non-penalty xG difference table, for this season’s Europa League. 23rd and 24th of 32 teams. Prague have played Lyon twice by this point, the group’s strongest team.

An attacking radar comparison shows the stylistic differences between the teams. Today's hosts have been far more proficient to create chances from set-pieces, while the visitors attacks in transition account for a larger portion of their xG.

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That being said, xG, xG/shot and the number of shots per game all balance out similarly.

Prague conceded seven goals over two ties again Lyon which is responsible for the majority of their defensive numbers. In their opening two games against Brdonby and Rangers they conceded a combined xG of just 0.47.

READ MORE: Predicting the Rangers 'details' Giovanni van Bronckhorst 'wants to change' before Sparta Prague clash

Their xG overview from the competition so far highlights what was evident in the reverse tie, the danger either wide forward poses. Pesek and Harlasin top the xG chart for players who have played over 300 minutes in their side's Europa League campaign so far.

Rangers Review:

Looking back at the tie in the Czech Republic, Van Bronckhorst’s admission in yesterday’s press conference that there will be changes is encouraging. Playing a single pivot in the form of Steven Davis left the side exposed in transition - while the width of their opponents also posed issues. It felt a game in hindsight ill-suited to the 4-3-3 mid-block, a theme that was becoming increasingly evident in Europe.

Rangers Review:

Rangers Review:

As addressed in The Rangers Review's preview piece before the 1-0 defeat on the continent, Pavel Vrba's team focus on getting the ball forward quickly and overloading the front line. Width often comes from wingers who stay high and wide, but at points either full-back will push up to create a top-heavy shape.

You’d predict a slightly more conservative approach will be evidenced away from home.

How much change can be anticipated at Rangers after just two training sessions under the new regime is as yet unknown. But Van Bronckhorst's words yesterday seemed to suggest that a fresh approach will be in place tonight.

"You will see a team tomorrow in the system that I like to play and think is best to play against Prague," he said.

Perhaps a wider defensive approach would limit the freedom gifted to opposing teams in Steven Gerrard's 4-3-3 mid-block. Or a man-orientated defensive system will be used at times. 

It seems likely that the shape without the ball will be more reflective of a 4-1-4-1, with greater support from attackers given in wide areas when in the defensive phase.

Prague also come into the game just days on from a 4-0 defeat against Slovacko in the Fortuna Liga. Similarly to Rangers’ 3-1 defeat at the weekend, the xG numbers indicate a closer game on the basis of chances (1.73 conceded to 0.63 created).

Nonetheless, they were played through easily for three of the four goals. All of which were back to front moves that targeted the space behind their defensive line.

READ MORE: Giovanni van Bronckhorst promises changes ahead of Sparta Prague test

The second goal was as simple as a ball around the side of the defence converted by Jurečka

Rangers Review:

Rangers Review:

The third was a similarly simple ball over the top flicked into the path of and scored by Holzer.

Rangers Review:

Rangers Review:

Sparta will be dangerous on the break as their radar demonstrates. However, although Van Bronckhorst has only had two days to work with the squad, an altered approach won't allow today's opponents to script their attacks in the knowledge of where space will be found. Perhaps that unpredictability and the new instructions issued will give the hosts an edge.