With Rangers improving with every performance so far this season, there’s slight optimism going into this game. No fans are under any illusion that it will be an easy game.
PSV are a quality side, that play good football filled with talented players. They look really exciting going forward, defensively though, they looked suspect last week.
There’s definitely a mistake in Ramalho and Benitez in goal, Rangers need to take advantage of that. It’s a huge tie which determines the European competition Rangers play in until Christmas. Hopefully Rangers can get a seat at the table with Europes top dogs.
So, let’s look at my predicted line-up for tomorrow.
GK – Jack Butland – His command of the box has been the most impressive thing to me, so far. He’s spilled a couple of shots here and there which haven’t led to anything but they need to be cut out on nights like this.
I have full confidence in Jack Butland though and he’ll be key to Rangers progression tomorrow night.
RB – James Tavernier – The captain scored a screamer and had his best performance of the season on Saturday. It’ll be a huge ask, again, for him up against Noa Lang.
He’ll need to be at his best defensively while also providing width in attack.
CBs – Connor Goldson & John Souttar – The clear first choice partnership. Both were excellent last Wednesday and again on Saturday.
More of the same and there’s a good chance Rangers can shut PSV out.
LB – Borna Barisic – He’s been very good after the opening game against Killie. I thought he done extremely well against Bakayako last week and the club will need more of the same from the Croatian.
Both full backs will be key in the chances created tomorrow night.
CDM – Ryan Jack – In my opinion, he’s the best number 6 at the club currently (Raskin is better as an 8). He provided composure and stability at the base of midfield.
He covers excellently for the full backs when they bomb forward also, so the defence isn’t left wide open.
RCM – José Cifuentes – The Ecuadorian wasn’t at his best last week. I think his energy levels and pace will keep him in though.
He needs to provide more support to Tavernier defensively and use the ball better. He’s been good in his domestic appearances but needs to prove himself on the big stage.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the manager went with John Lundstram in this position. Due to the Englishmen’s recent form and how well he copes in these games.
LCM – Nico Raskin – Off the ball recently, he’s been superb. He’s the first to loose balls and always grafting to retrieve the ball back.
On the ball though, he needs to be better. He’s been very wasteful in possession and in a game like this, Rangers need to keep the ball as much as possible.
CAM – Todd Cantwell – Last week, again, he was superb. The movement up top let him down at times. He kept picking up wonderful positions in space then had no one to feed or link with.
With more support from the forward line Rangers will cause real problems from Cantwell’s ability to find those pockets of space. He’ll be one of the key men tomorrow and I think he’ll turn in a big performance.
ST – Cyriel Dessers – He missed a few decent headed chances at the weekend. He has looked sharper though and his link up has been better in recent games.
He was a handful for the PSV defence last week and that will be enough for him to keep his place. He will be key in holding the ball up and getting the team up the pitch.
ST – Rabbi Matondo – I think Michael Beale may start with Abdallah Sima due to his aerial presence. I believe Matondo deserves the nod from the start though, he’s impressed every time he’s been on the pitch this season.
He truly looks like a player reborn who has found his confidence. There will be space in behind the PSV defence that he can exploit. A terrific finish last week and another impressive cameo at the weekend means, in my opinion, he deserves a go from the start.
This is a huge game and a huge week for Rangers. Although Europa League progress may seem easier, the money for making the Champions League shouldn’t be scoffed at.
Qualifying them aiming for 3rd in the group should be the aim of the club want to keep progressing. That being said, a very good PSV side stand in their way.
Are you confident for tomorrow? Would you prefer UEL over the CL?
ICYMI you can read yesterdays article on transfer target Harry Souttar here.
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