Rangers look to hurt Maribor in Europa League return - Steven Gerrard

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard oversees a training session at the Ljudski Stadion
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard oversees a training session at the Ljudski Stadion

Rangers have no intention of sitting on their first-leg advantage against Maribor, says manager Steven Gerrard.

The Ibrox side lead 3-1 going into Thursday's Europa League third qualifying round return in Slovenia.

But Gerrard is determined that his side will pose a threat at the Ljudski Stadion.

"At some point Maribor are going to have to take some risks and I will pick a team with enough attacking talent to hopefully go and hurt them," he said.

"This is not a case of us coming here to hang on and try to grind through the 90 minutes in order to get over the line.

"I have no doubt we will create chances. The challenge for the players is can we go and take an important one? Can someone within our setup get that very important goal?

"This is an opportunity to show we're a team that's moving forward, a team that is growing, that has confidence.

"So I want my players to play as big players, as a big team tomorrow and show we're a threat away in Europe."

Gerrard will be without suspended Jon Flanagan and new signing Borna Barisic is ineligible.

However, the manager said midfield trio Ryan Jack, Lassana Coulibaly and Scott Arfield are "all good to go" after recent injury concerns.

"Everyone on the aeroplane has my trust," he said. "I'm confident that if any of them are called upon they will come out and do the shirt justice.

"The good thing for me at the moment is that I have every single person in the squad fighting to be part of that 11."

Maribor target 'perfect' performance

Maribor striker Jasmin Mesanovic is urging his team-mates to "show that we are superior" against Rangers, buoyed by a 5-0 league win over Gorica at the weekend.

"We need to be effective in attack, which we have demonstrated that we can do," he told the club website. "We need to be solid in defence as we have been in most games this season."

Maribor levelled Alfredo Morelos' early opener at Ibrox when Mitja Viler thumped in a stunning volley.

Rangers hit back with a James Tavernier penalty and a late effort from Coulibaly.

Manager Darko Milanic says Maribor need a "perfect" display if they are to have a chance of progressing to the play-off round.

"What I see with the boys is that we can hardly wait for the match," he said. "Before us is a great test against a very good opponent.

"It's clear that Rangers are dangerous on the counter-attack. They are very direct, they quickly decide to send the crosses towards the goal. They are aggressive, with and without a ball.

"So when we decide to attack, we cannot be too open and must play with as few errors as possible. We have to be perfect if we want to stop our opponents."

'Rangers will go through' - analysis

Former Rangers striker Kenny Miller on Sportsound

I thought Maribor were very good last week, but I think Rangers will go through. They've defended well and not conceded many, but I think they'll continue that over there.

They've looked dangerous playing on the break this season because they've got a bit of pace in the forward areas.

Top Stories