While Ryan Jack misses Thursday through suspension, Rangers will give Croat Borna Barisic every chance to pass a late fitness test and see if the former Osijek man can spare Rangers being down yet another key player for Braga’s visit.
The Portuguese side are bang in form, and Rangers will need to be at their very best to secure a result on the night, and with Jack, Swede Filip Helander and veteran striker Jermain Defoe all missing from the squad, manager Steven Gerrard won’t want to be down his star LB for yet another match.
Of course this is a tad unfair on Andy Halliday, who’s done an honest job in Barisic’s place, but there’s really no replacing a LB who ranks number one in assists in the tournament and number one for assists to a particular player (Morelos).
Barisic, while his form hasn’t been sparkling this calendar year (whose has?), would be a huge boost to make Thursday, and would give Rangers a real dimension of quality – James Tavernier, who will start, is utterly off colour for crossing, and Rangers need reliable distribution from the flanks.
Alfredo Morelos especially has looked bereft of inspiration in the Croat’s absence and getting the star defender back would be a massive lift for everyone concerned.
It’s 50/50 as things stand, here’s hoping he gets there.