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Stepping up preparations for their first competitive game of the 2022-23 campaign, at Livingston on July 31, Rangers can tackle their next warm-up match with some new faces on board.
Having added Derby County star Tom Lawrence and Wales winger Rabbi Matondo to their ranks recently, last season’s Scottish Premiership runners-up are also readying themselves for the Champions League qualifiers later this month.
Though the Light Blues were unable to retain the league title, they still enjoyed a memorable 2021-22 campaign, which saw them reach the finals of both the Europa League and Scottish Cup.
A penalty shootout defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in their first European final since 2008 was followed by a 2-0 triumph against Hearts in the cup, which saw the Glasgow side lift the trophy for the 34th time.
Manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst is building towards his first full season in charge at Ibrox, after replacing Steven Gerrard in November last year, but the former Netherlands international saw his plans struck down by some ill fortune last Saturday.
Due to an electrical failure, a friendly encounter with Sunderland was abandoned at half time – with Rangers trailing 1-0 – so he will hope events proceed more smoothly at Bloomfield Road, ahead of further pre-season tests back at Ibrox, versus Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United.
Rangers could name a strong side after their last friendly outing was prematurely curtailed, and several new signings are set to be involved.
Former Derby captain Tom Lawrence has been snapped up on a free transfer, and the 23-cap Wales international is in line to start on the wing, given Ianis Hagi‘s continued absence through injury.
Lawrence was the second player to arrive at Ibrox last week, following the capture of Croatian striker Antonio Colak from PAOK, and another Welsh winger, Rabbi Matondo, signed from Schalke for an undisclosed fee.
Defensive mainstay Connor Goldson has signed a new deal at the club, and he could be partnered by ex-Hearts defender John Souttar, whose move to Glasgow was arranged back in January.
Meanwhile, Blackpool have seen Ethan Robson join MK Dons on a free transfer this summer, but a lack of transfer activity otherwise means that their squad remains similar to last term.
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Since the end of that campaign, CJ Hamilton has become a full Republic of Ireland international, and the wide-man will most likely feature in Michael Appleton’s first home game back at Bloomfield.
Blackpool possible starting lineup:
Maxwell; Connolly, Ekpiteta, Keogh, Garbutt; Carey, Stewart, Dougall; Bowler, Hamilton, Yates
Rangers possible starting lineup:
McLaughlin; Tavernier, Souttar, Goldson, Bassey; Lundstram, Sands, Kamara; Lawrence, Sakala, Matondo