TNT Sports Reload - Episode 11Sep 26
When and where to watch Rangers vs Ajax
Rangers vs Napoli kicks off at 8pm on Tuesday 1 November.
You can watch all the action from 7.15pm exclusively live on BT Sport 4.
Rangers vs Ajax match preview
A five-goal margin of victory against Ajax on Tuesday night would be enough to finish third and book a place in the Europa League knockout stages.
But that outcome seems highly unlikely for a side yet to pick up a single point in their Champions League group.
It’s been a disappointing return to the competition for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side, who have scored just once and conceded 19 in five matches.
The draw was a tough one - with Napoli stronger than many expected and Liverpool always likely to progress comfortably - but fans had high hopes after last season’s impressive run to the Europa League final.
Even if a 5-0 win isn’t achievable against Ajax on Tuesday, Rangers will hope to rescue some pride and avoid finishing with no points.
At Ibrox, against a team who have themselves struggled in Group A, this looks like the best opportunity yet to record a win.
Ajax were on the receiving end of a 3-0 defeat to Liverpool in Amsterdam last time out and were beaten heavily in their double-header with Napoli.
The group started promisingly for the Dutch side, too, with a 4-0 win over Rangers, but they now head to Glasgow with a place in the Europa League the only prize on offer.
Rangers vs Ajax predicted lineups
Rangers: (4-2-3-1): McGregor; Tavernier, King, Davies, Barisic, Sands, Davis, Sakala, Arfield, Kent, Colak
Ajax: (4-3-3) Pasveer; Rensch, Bassey, Blind, Wijndal, Klaasen, Grillitsch, Taylor, Berghuis, Kudus, Ocampos
Rangers vs Ajax: Injuries and suspensions
Rangers are expected to be without Kemar Roofe, Glen Kamara, Ryan Jack and Connor Goldson, all injured and yet to return to action.
John Lundstram is suspended after picking up a third booking of the group stages in the 3-0 defeat to Napoli last week.
Ajax have relatively few injury concerns, with defender Ahmetcan Kaplan the only player ruled out.
Rangers vs Ajax: Form guide
Rangers have been unable to find form in the Champions League, but they remain in contention at the top of the Scottish Premiership.
Van Bronckhorst’s side beat Aberdeen 4-1 on Saturday to stay within four points of league leaders Celtic.
But a draw at home to Livingston the previous weekend was a frustrating slip-up, particularly after two victories in response to the 7-1 humbling at the hands of Liverpool.
Similarly, Ajax are in strong form domestically, but on a run of four successive losses in the Champions League.
Alfred Schreuder’s side sit top of the Eredivisie after a run of three straight league wins, during which time they’ve scored 15 goals.
In the Champions League, though, Ajax have proved porous defensively, conceding 13 in defeats to Napoli and Liverpool. Clearly the presence of Lisandro Martinez is missed after his summer move to Manchester United.
Rangers vs Ajax: Last time they met
The damage was done in the first half when Rangers travelled to the Netherlands for the opening game of the group stages in September.
Goals from Edson Alvarez, Steven Berghuis and Mohammed Kudus put the hosts in complete control inside 33 minutes at the Amsterdam Arena, before former Spurs man Steven Bergwijn finished the job late in the second half.
There was a clear gulf in class between the two sides, but Rangers will hope the reverse fixture is a more competitive one under the lights in Glasgow.
He said what?!
Rangers boss Van Bronckhorst has backed his players to win the final game of Group A:
“Tuesday is a different competition with the Champions League again. It’s our last game and we are ready to get the first points of this campaign.
“We have a chance to do so at home against any team. A 90-minute performance like this [4-1 win against Aberdeen] on Tuesday will give us a chance against a quality opponent. If we win the game, we have even points with Ajax and that really shows the strength of this group.”
Rangers vs Ajax: Players to watch
Mohammed Kudus was exceptional against Rangers in their last meeting and could well be heavily involved again.
The 22-year-old forward has scored three goals in the Champions League so far this season, taking on a more influential role after the departures of the likes of Antony, Ryan Gravenberch and Sebastien Haller.
Schreuder has opted to use the Ghanaian from the bench more often in recent weeks, but Kudus could start with Europa League qualification all but secured.
Young striker Brian Brobbey is one to keep an eye on, too, with four goals to his name in his last three appearances.
Rangers vs Ajax: Key stats
- Rangers have lost all five of their matches against Ajax in European competition, by an aggregate score line of 15-4. Indeed, Ajax have scored nine goals in their three meetings against Rangers that have taken place in the UEFA Champions League.
- Ajax have lost each of their previous four games in the UEFA Champions League; they haven’t lost five in a row in the competition since September 2004 under Ronald Koeman.
- Rangers have lost all five of their games in the UEFA Champions League this season. No Scottish side have ever been beaten six times within a single campaign in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League.
- Among players to have attempted at least 10 take-ons in the UEFA Champions League this season, Ajax’s Mohammed Kudus has the highest take-on success rate in the competition (69% - 11/16).
- Ajax and Rangers are the two teams who have conceded the most goals from crosses and headed goals in the UEFA Champions League this season – Ajax have conceded the most headers (5 – Rangers with four) and the Scottish side have shipped the most goals from crosses (5 – Ajax with four).