Rangers consolidated their slender advantage atop the Scottish Premiership over the weekend and will look to take that momentum into Thursday’s Europa League matchup against Lech Poznan (8pm kick-off).
Steven Gerrard’s men rubbed salt into the wounds of fierce Glasgow rivals Celtic on Sunday, beating Livingston 2-0 shortly after Aberdeen netted a 92nd-minute equaliser against the Bhoys in a six-goal thriller, extending the gap at the summit to six points.
Rangers have been equally as impressive in Europe as well, sealing three points against Standard Liege last week to give themselves a strong chance in Group D. They now play host to Lech Poznan for the first-ever meeting between these two clubs.
Domestically, the Polish runners-up have struggled, with the Railwayman currently 10th in the Ekstraklasa after seven games, and Dariusz Zuraw’s men took that form into Europe as they lost their opening-day match against Benfica. They cannot afford to lose two on the spin.
Where to watch Rangers vs Lech Poznan on TV:
- UK: BT Sport 3
- US: CBS All Access
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Rangers & Lech Poznan’s previous line-ups:
- Rangers (vs Livingston): McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Helander, Bassey; Davis, Jack, Hagi, Aribo, Kent; Defoe.
- Lech Poznan (vs Cracovia): Bednarek; Czerwinski, Satka, Crnomarkovic, Kravets; Muhar, Moder, Ramirez, Skoras, Marchwinski; Kacharava.
Rangers were without star man Borna Barisic over the weekend as the Croatia international nursed a thigh injury, and he is unlikely to be risked later this week. Gerrard will also be without Nikola Katic, who remains sidelined with a serious knee injury, and autumnal recruit Bongani Zungu.
The big news for Rangers and Lech Poznan fans is that Portuguese playmaker Pedro Tiba is a serious doubt for Thursday night after the talismanic midfielder sat out of the weekend draw against Cracovia with a thigh issue.
Players to watch:
- Rangers: Kemar Roofe scored the longest-range goal in Europa League history against Standard Liege on matchday one (54.6 yards), as his last-minute effort caught Arnaud Bodart completely unawares. It was a strike straight from the David Beckham playbook and he will now be looking to become the first Rangers player since Mark Falco in 1987 to net in their first two major European matches for the club. Signed from Anderlecht over the summer, Roofe already has three goals in eight games and was rested from the starting XI on Sunday, presumably with Gerrard keeping one eye on this fixture.
- Lech Poznan: Mikael Ishak represents Zuraw’s greatest threat, with the Stockholm-born striker in quite brilliant form since trading Nurnberg for the Stadion Miejski in July. Since joining Poznan over the summer, Ishak has netted nine goals in 13 games, including a brace against Portuguese giants Benfica last week. The Eagles boast Jan Vertonghen and Nicolas Otamendi as their centre-back partnership, so his 30-minute double was certainly no mean feat, and Gerrard should be wary of the threat he poses.
Scoreline prediction: Rangers 2-2 Lech Poznan
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