Our prediction for this Europa League match:
After suffering a shocking elimination to Malmo in the Champions League qualifiers, Rangers will be looking to give fans some cheer when they take on Alashkert in the Europa League play-offs, first leg. The Gers failed to beat the ten-man Swedes, but they are still seen as hot favourites to eliminate Alashkert in the two-legged tie. Since Rangers crushed Dunfermline 5-0 in the Scottish League Cup on Friday evening, home win should be considered.
Both Kemar Roofe and Glen Kamara are pushing for a start after the duo served UEFA-imposed suspensions against Malmo. Fit-again Joe Aribo should start as well. The Armenians did well to eliminate Kairat Almaty in the Europa League third qualifying round, but they will have a much bigger fish to fry in Thursday’s football game. Portugal international Jose Embalo, who scored a brace in the triumph over Kairat, will be the man to watch in the away team.
Highlighted Player (Jon McLaughlin):
Jon McLaughlin is a goalkeeper who plays for Sunderland. The 188-cm-tall shoot-stopper played for non-League sides Harrogate Railway Athletic and Harrogate Town in the past, but in 2008 he joined Bradford City. After spending six years at Valley Parade, McLaughlin signed a contract with Burton Albion and he has been playing for the Pirelli Stadium outfit ever since.
Jon McLaughlin made 45 appearances for Burton Albion in both 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 seasons and he has established his self as the team’s first-choice goalkeeper. He was producing scintillating displays for Burton in the 2015/2016 League One campaign and, no doubt, he helped the team secure promotion to the Championship.
Jon McLaughlin was born on 9 September, 1987 in Edinburgh, but he has yet to make his debut for the Scotland national team. Speaking of his honours, the goalkeeper won the Football League Two play-offs with Bradford City in the 2012/2013 season.
Highlighted Team (Rangers):
Glasgow Rangers are one of the two synonyms for Scottish Football. Glasgow Rangers were founded back in 1872 and they have been playing an important role in the Scottish top flight ever since. The Gers won their 54th Scottish Premier League title in the 2010/2011 season, but winning of European Cup Winners’ Cup trophy in 1972 is considered the club’s biggest success.
Glasgow Rangers defeated Dynamo Moscow in the final of the competition, with the likes of Stein and Johnston (two goals) scoring for the Scottish side. Celtic are considered the club’s biggest rivals and there have always been fireworks when the two teams meet in the Old Firm derby. The likes of Paul Gascoigne, David Weir, Stefan Klos, Chris Boyd, Ian Durrant and Kenny Miller are some of Rangers’ former notable players.
It has to be noted that the Gers welcome their rivals at Ibrox Stadium, the venue with the capacity of 50,817. Rangers’ support is largely drawn from the Protestant Unionist community.