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How will Rangers line-up in the first Europa League game?

Celtic v Rangers - Scottish Cup Semi-Final Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Unless you’ve been living under a rock over the last few weeks, you’ll have noticed Rangers have made a host of signings, with just as many more set to join them over the next week or so, and it’s left fans wondering just how Rangers will line-up next season. There are a handful of players that it’s safe to say will start regularly but there are a number of positions where it’s much less clear who is ‘first choice’. Even the formation seems to be up in the air with suggestions it’ll be 4-4-2, 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 but who is likely to start the first Europa League qualifier in two weeks.

Assuming it’s a 4-2-3-1, and only using players who have completed their moves as yet, here’s how we think Rangers MIGHT line-up.

Wes Foderingham is a certainty to retain the number one jersey. The ex-Swindon keeper was one of Rangers’ best performers last season and it’s unlikely Jak Alnwick will depose him; at least early in the season so Foderingham will begin his third season between the sticks at Ibrox.

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The two full-back berths will have a familiar look about them with James Tavernier and Lee Wallace the two obvious choices. The captain’s extended break to allow him to get married could rule him out the first game of the season with Lee Hodson or Myles Beerman deputising but Wallace is the one who we’d expect to see start against whoever we might face. Centrally Fabio Cardoso will be partnered by Bruno Alves should Portugal be eliminated early from the FIFA Confederations Cup. If the reigning European Champions do well, David Bates will step in and make his European debut.

Midfield is where it gets a bit trickier. Ryan Jack and Jordan Rossiter are the first two names that jump out to play the deeper role although Jason Holt seemed to impress Caixinha in that role in the second half of the season. Andy Halliday could also slot in there if need be. Ahead of them, Barrie McKay, Daniel Candeias and Dalcio will be competing for the two wide spots. McKay has struggled to impose himself on Caixinha’s plans so far but, barring progression in Jamie Walker’s move across the M8, McKay might just get the chance to prove himself all over again. The fit-again Niko Kranjcar could find himself in the number 10 spot behind the main striker if Carlos Pena’s work permit hasn’t been issued by then; it should but then stranger things have happened.

Leading the line, with the same caveat applying for Eduardo Herrera as Pena, will be Kenny Miller. In the absence of a new signing, the veteran striker is the only choice. Joe Garner is away to heider stuff in Suffolk and Martyn Waghorn doesn’t seem to be high on Caixinha’s list of players he fancies.