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For the first time in over three years, Rangers took to the pitch at the weekend without Steven Gerrard as their head coach, following his departure to Aston Villa over the international break.

Former player Van Bronckhorst has since taken the reins but he had to watch his new side from the stands at Hampden Park, as they suffered a surprise 3-1 defeat against Hibernian in the Scottish League Cup semi-finals.

Hopes of an Old Firm final are now over, and their chances of advancing in the Europa League are also at risk, having endured a more challenging group-stage campaign compared to last year.

After suffering two defeats without scoring against runaway Group A leaders Lyon and Thursday’s opponents Sparta Prague, Rangers have since claimed four points from their home and away fixtures against Brondby, which keeps them in contention of finishing in second place.

The Gers, who had twice as many points at this stage of the Europa League last season, need to beat Sparta in midweek by at least two goals to book their place in the last 32, while defeat would see them eliminated from the competition.

Van Bronckhorst has inherited a side who have only won two of their last 10 European fixtures, so the Dutchman will be hoping he can have an immediate impact to keep their continental dreams alive.

Rangers will still be without defender Filip Helander (knee) and midfielder Nnamdi Ofoborh (heart condition), while Kemar Roofe is doubtful after picking up a knock while on international duty, which forced him to miss the defeat against Hibs.

Under Gerrard, the Gers regularly adopted a 4-3-3 formation, a system also used by Van Bronckhorst during his time at Feyenoord, so drastic changes to their style are not expected.

Captain Steven Davis and Glen Kamara are set to remain in centre-midfield; however, Scott Arfield – who scored at the weekend – could be replaced in the first XI by either John Lundstram or Ryan Jack.

Alfredo Morelos and Fashion Sakala are both one booking away from a suspension, though with this being such an important match for Rangers, the former is expected to start down the middle, with the latter an option on the bench.

As for Sparta Prague, they will be without Lukas Julis (groin), Casper Hojer (calf), Filip Soucek (knee), Matej Polidar (muscle) and Ondrej Celustka (knee) due to injury, while David Moberg Karlsson and Ladislav Krejci are unavailable due to illness.

Right-back Andreas Vindheim is likely to start at the expense of Tomas Wiesner, who is doubtful after being substituted midway through the first half at the weekend.

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Wingers Jakub Pesek and Lukas Haraslin – who have scored 10 goals between them in all competitions so far this season – are expected to support central striker Martin Minchev in attack.

Rangers possible starting lineup:
McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Barisic; Lundstram, Davis, Kamara; Aribo, Morelos, Kent

Sparta Prague possible starting lineup:
Nita; Vindheim, Panak, Celustka, Hancko; Sacek, Pavelka; Pesek, Hlozek, Haraslin; Minchev

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