2021-22 UEFA Europa League Play-Offs: First Leg – Rangers vs Alashkert

Rangers begin their 2021-22 Europa League adventure at home to Alashkert in the first leg of their play-off tie at Ibrox. 

Steven Gerrard’s Gers drop into this competition after losing their Champions League Third Qualifying Round tie 4-2 on aggregate to Malmo.

Alashkert meanwhile qualified for this stage after defeating Kairat in the Third Qualifying Round, having dropped into the Europa League after suffering a Second Qualifying Round loss in the Champions League.

 

Team News

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Ryan Jack is set to remain absent for Rangers as he continues his recovery from a knee injury.

Glen Kamara and Kemar Roofe are still suspended following controversial incidents during their exit from this competition last season, which came at home to Slavia Prague in the Round of 16.

Alashkert have no fresh injury concerns to report with manager, Aleksandr Grigoryan set to rotate his squad with Jose Embalo amongst players set to be recalled after being rested at the weekend domestically.

 

Stat Attack

  • This is Rangers’ first-ever meeting against Alashkert in all competitions.
  • Rangers are facing Armenian opposition for the very first time across all European competitions.
  • Alashkert have lost three of four previous meetings against Scottish opposition (W1, L3), with their only victory coming at home against St Johnstone in July 2015, prevailing on away goals after 2-2 aggregate.
  • Steven Gerrard’s Gers have lost just one of their last six European home matches (W4, D1, L1).
  • David Khurtsidze, Aleksandar Glisic and Jose Embalo have both netted twice individually for Alashkert in all European competitions this season.

 

Prediction

Rangers enter this match off the back of a dominant Scottish League Cup win over Dunfermline Athletic in which they looked back to their absolute best, following a shaky run in which their defence let their quality slip against clinical opposition.

Alashkert meanwhile are quite an unknown quantity in terms of their tactics so I am unsure as to what we can expect here but if Rangers turn up and get on the front foot early, I can see them killing the tie off right here.

Prediction: Rangers 3-0 Alashkert

Result: Rangers 1-0 Alashkert

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