Rangers mark their Champions League group stage return with a tough trip to face Ajax on Wednesday at 5:45pm (UK time).
The Scottish side haven’t played in the Champions League group stage since 2010/11 when they finished third behind Manchester United and Valencia, dropping down to the Europa League where they went out at the round of 16. Ajax, meanwhile, are contesting the Champions League group stage for the fifth consecutive campaign.
Ajax v Rangers betting tips from Squawka Bet
- 2+ shots on target each team in each half @ 6/1 with Sky Bet
- Dusan Tadic to score anytime @ 7/4 with Sky Bet
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Ajax team news vs Rangers
- Outs: Owen Wijndal, Mohamed Ihattaren
- Doubts: None
Alfred Schreuder has confirmed that Owen Wijndal is unavailable for Wednesday’s game, not yet training with his teammates following injury, but Ajax otherwise have a fully-fit squad from which to choose. Mohamed Ihattaren is unavailable, however, after being left out of Ajax’s Champions League squad due to fitness concerns.
Despite having a fairly strong squad that has started well, sitting top of the Eredivisie with five wins from five and just three goals conceded, Ajax lost heavily over the summer. Sebastien Haller and Ryan Gravenberch were sold to Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich respectively and will be big losses, but Manchester United raided the Dutch champions.
First coming for Erik ten Hag, Man Utd also signed Lisandro Martinez and Antony from Ajax, and sporting director Gerry Hamstra was not happy with the way the English club conducted their business.
“Manchester United’s timing was so bad,” he said.
“The last few days (of the transfer window) became even more hectic after Ajax had already gone through a major rebuild of the squad following the departure of lots of top-class players.
“It was so difficult to leave our new manager with such a void. We all think we lost too many first-team players who always start. We had a summer with totally different expectations. We wanted to keep the group together as much as possible to be able to perform well in the Champions League and to carry on being successful.
“That’s what we talked about with Alfred. Of course we knew there were a few snags. But no one had foreseen that our players would be bought for such huge sums of money.”
Predicted Ajax XI vs Rangers:
- Pasveer; Rensch, Timber, Bassey, Blind; Berghuis, Alvarez, Klaassen; Tadic, Brobbey, Bergwijn. (4-3-3)
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Rangers team news vs Ajax
- Outs: Ianis Hagi, Tom Lawrence, Nnamdi Ofoborh, Ben Davies, Filip Helander, Kemar Roofe, John Souttar
- Doubts: None
Rangers have a host of absences for the trip to Amsterdam, with no fewer than seven players not available for selection. Among those is Ianis Hagi, who has been out since January after suffering a serious knee injury and isn’t expected back for another couple of months. Summer signings Ben Davies and Tom Lawrence are also unavailable, with the latter missing the 4-0 defeat to Celtic after a decent start to life in Scotland.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst will also have a decision on how many changes he makes following the humiliation at the hands of their rivals at the weekend, with Alfredo Morelos pushing for a start at the top of their attack.
Predicted Rangers XI vs Ajax:
- McGregor; Tavernier, Sands, Goldson, Barisic; Lundstram, Davis, Arfield; Tillman, Morelos, Kent. (4-3-3)