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Europa League | Group Stage
Nov 30, 2023 at 8pm UK
Ibrox Stadium
1 - 1
Aris Limassol
McCausland (49')
Lammers (45+2')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Babicka (28')
Struski (45'), Yago (45+3'), Kokorin (50'), Szoke (67'), Bengtsson (85'), Brown (90')

Preview: Rangers vs. Aris Limassol - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between Rangers and Aris Limassol, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Rangers will welcome Aris Limassol to Ibrox on Thursday in the penultimate round of Europa League group-stage fixtures.

The hosts currently sit second, two points behind leaders Real Betis and three clear of third-placed Sparta Prague, while their visitors will aim to overtake the latter in their bid to progress on the continent.

Match preview

Rangers manager Philippe Clement before the match on October 26, 2023© Reuters

Rangers head into the fifth game of their Europa League campaign on Thursday aiming to strengthen their claim for a place in the round of 16, having managed seven points from their first four matches after dropping out of Champions League qualifying at the final hurdle at the hands of PSV Eindhoven.

The Scottish giants began impressively in the group stage, as they hosted Real Betis and took all three points with a 1-0 victory, as Abdallah Sima netted the only goal of the game in the second half, but they would then fail to build a lead on the back of that result, losing 2-1 in the following trip to Aris Limassol under the temporary stewardship of Steven Davis.

Philippe Clement then took the reins at Ibrox in mid-October, and they have since managed a pair of creditable result on the continent in two meetings with Sparta Prague to keep their hopes of finishing top alive, firstly playing out a goalless draw in the Czech capital before most recently scoring a 2-1 victory on home soil having gone two goals up in the first half through Todd Cantwell and Danilo.

While they remain unbeaten in eight games under their new boss across all competitions, the Gers do now return to group action on the back of a somewhat disappointing result at the weekend, having remained eight points behind rivals Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership as they only managed a 1-1 draw away at Aberdeen thanks to James Tavernier's injury-time leveller from the penalty spot.

Now finding themselves in second spot in their Europa League group, and on track for a place in the knockout round playoff but just two points behind leaders Real Betis ahead of their meeting in the final round of games, Rangers will be desperate to make it three wins from three group matches at Ibrox on Thursday with what would be a crucial result ahead of that decider next month.

Aris Limassol coach Aleksey Shpilevski reacts on October 26, 2023© Reuters

In their way stand an Aris Limassol side who will also fight to improve their standing in their fight for qualification in the final two rounds of fixtures and complete the double over Thursday's hosts having endured a tough group campaign thus far.

After dropping out of Champions League qualifying at the hands of Rakow Czestochowa, the Cypriot champions booked their place in Europe's secondary competition with a playoff victory over Slovan Bratislava, but their only points thus far have come in the reverse fixture at home to Rangers, as they began with a narrow 3-2 defeat away at Sparta Prague.

Rangers then paid a visit to the Alphamega Stadium, and Aleksey Shpilevsky's team put an important victory on the board, seeing out a 2-1 victory having gone two goals ahead through Alex Moucketou-Moussounda and Shavy Babicka, but they have since been unable to build on that in a pair of meetings with Real Betis, firstly losing 1-0 on home soil with Ayoze Perez netting the only goal of the game.

The Light Brigade then travelled to Spain for the reverse fixture last time out, and they again came away empty-handed in a 4-1 beating, with Aleksandr Kokorin's 84th-minute goal nothing more than a consolation as Borja Iglesias, Aitor Ruibal, Marc Roca and Abde Ezzalzouli helped themselves to goals for the hosts.

Now on the back of a crucial 1-0 victory over APOEL to go top of the Cypriot top flight, Aris Limassol return to Europa League action at the bottom of their group but just a single point behind third-placed Sparta Prague in a spot which grants them a place in the Europa Conference League knockout stage, and ahead of a crucial meeting between the two sides in the final round of games with third place likely on the line, Shpilevsky's men will be keen to gain an advantage with a surprise result in Glasgow on Thursday.

Rangers Europa League form:

Rangers form (all competitions):

Aris Limassol Europa League form:

Team News

Rangers' Danilo celebrates scoring a goal before it is disallowed on November 9, 2023© Reuters

Rangers will remain without midfielder Nicolas Raskin, who is sidelined by an injury, while defender John Souttar has returned to contention after his own layoff.

Clement may opt to deploy an unchanged starting XI from the weekend's trip to Aberdeen in their 4-2-3-1 shape, with Danilo likely to again lead the line with support from a trio including Abdallah Sima, who leads their scoring charts with nine goals in all competitions so far this term.

Todd Cantwell and Tom Lawrence will both hope to keep their places in the attacking line amid competition from Sam Lammers and Rabbi Matondo, while John Lundstram and Jose Cifuentes should again line up in the engine room with Connor Goldson and Leon Balogun bound to get the nod over Souttar at the heart of the back four.

Aris Limassol may remain without key forward Yannick Gomis, who has netted a team-high tally of 10 goals so far this season, after he missed their recent meeting with APOEL through injury.

In his expected absence, attacking responsibility will again fall on Shavy Babicka, who has managed four goals of his own this term, including two in the Europa League group stage, while Aleksandr Kokorin should again feature from the outset having also managed two continental goals thus far.

Julius Szoke and Karol Struski are mainstays in the engine room and should again partner up in midfield in their 4-2-3-1 shape, while Slobodan Urosevic and Alex Moucketou-Moussounda will likely play in the centre of the defence.

Rangers possible starting lineup:
Butland; Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Barisic; Lundstram, Cifuentes; Cantwell, Lawrence, Sima; Danilo

Aris Limassol possible starting lineup:
Vana; Yago, Urosevic, Moucketou-Moussounda, Caju; Szoke, Struski; Montnor, Kokorin, Mayambela; Babicka

SM words green background

We say: Rangers 2-0 Aris Limassol

Despite suffering a defeat in Cyprus in the reverse fixture, Rangers should certainly fancy themselves to outclass Aris on Thursday with home advantage and renewed confidence under Clement.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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Group A

QWest Ham650115
4Backa Topola60151

Group B

4AEK Athens61144

Group C

QSparta Prague631210
4Aris Limassol61144

Group D

QSporting Lisbon632111
3Sturm Graz61144

Group E

3Union SG62228

Group F

3M. Haifa61235

Group G

QSlavia Prague650115
4Sheriff Tiraspol60151

Group H

QB. Leverkusen660018

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