This is a game of unfathomable importance for Rangers and Michael Beale. After Wednesday’s performance and no deadline day additions, many fans are feeling underwhelmed with how the team is looking.
Both managers are actually feeling the pressure going into this one, something very unusual for this time in the season.
It’s time Rangers fans start seeing the handbrake coming off. It’s time this Rangers team actually look like they have a game plan and style of play. Is Michael Beale capable of implementing that?
The team I’ve predicted would definitely be a sign of the handbrake being off. Will the manager go for it or will he over think it like he done in the cup ties last season?
So, let’s look at my predicted line-up for tomorrow.
GK – Jack Butland – He’s the only reason PSV never scored more than 5 on Wednesday. He’s also the only new signing that’s come in and hit the ground running.
There will be big moments for him in the game and I have full confidence that he’ll come up big in them.
RB – James Tavernier – The team need a captains performance. He needs to make sure he does his job defensively with the pace they have out wide.
His delivery from set pieces could also be key to creating chances
CBs – Connor Goldson & John Souttar – Both had moments they’ll want to forget on Wednesday. That being said, they’re still our strongest pairing.
Souttar has made a few mistakes that have cost goals already this season. He can’t afford another one tomorrow.
LB – Borna Barisic – A lot has been made of him coming off on Wednesday and being fine for Sunday. He’s looked good this season so far and has been better defensively.
How can he get the fans back on his side? Perform in an Old Firm game. Do the defensive work and don’t let them in behind. He’s got a point to prove tomorrow, let’s hope he’s up to the challenge.
CDM – Ryan Jack – A fully fit Ryan Jack is always my number 6. I think Raskin is more suited as an 8 and does better work closing down further up the pitch.
Jack knows what it means to be a Rangers player, he ‘gets it’. He’ll give his all and is very positionally sound, especially when it comes to covering attacking full backs.
He’ll give calmness and composure in front of the defence. Him starting is a no brainer, for me.
RCM – Nico Raskin – I don’t think Raskin has started off the season well, particularly on the ball. Off of it he’s still been tenacious, closes down well and helps us win the ball back.
On it though, his passing and decision making have been poor. This has to change for tomorrow. Rangers need to keep the ball and control the game. Raskin will be a big part of that so he’ll need to up his level to what he provided last season.
LCM – Todd Cantwell – For tomorrow, I think Cantwell may drop back into midfield. Like Raskin, he’s tenacious and will help winning the ball back.
He can also still create and drive forward from here. His link up play with the forwards would be crucial as will his ability to see a pass.
Many times Matondo could’ve been played in behind on Wednesday and the deeper midfielders didn’t play the pass on time. That won’t be an issue with Cantwell in there.
CAM – Kemar Roofe – This is where the handbrake comes off. Roofe has to start, in my opinion, and I think he’d be excellent in the number 10 spot. His link up play is one of his biggest strengths and he can hold the ball up.
He’s also a very accomplished passer, I think he would like up great with Cantwell. Then with runners in front of him, could cause Celtic serious issues.
ST – Danilo – The marquee signing of the summer has barely had a look in. It’s time to release him and see what he’s got.
He’s played in big derbies in The Netherlands so the atmosphere shouldn’t be an issue. This is the transfer that’s baffling fans currently. Why be so desperate and pay so much for someone who’s sat on the bench for our two biggest games of the season so far?
If he doesn’t start there’s maybe bigger things at play. I think the manager may go with Dessers or Lammers for some height. It would be Danilo for me though, throw him in and let him justify the price tag.
ST – Rabbi Matondo – His recent form has gotten him back into the Wales set up. He deserves to keep his place. He was probably the only player who looked dangerous on Wednesday.
Had it not been for some poor passes/decision making on the ball he could’ve been through one on one multiple times. He also had that incredible, mazy run which ended with him rattling the post.
Again, I think the manager might through Sima in for his physical presence but I think Matondo deserves to keep his spot.
Despite Wednesday and the lack of deadline day activity I’m confident going into tomorrow. I believe Rangers can pull out a big performance in front of an expectant Ibrox crowd.
There can be no excuses tomorrow, the players know exactly what this means. It represents a chance to go into an international break above our biggest rivals. This is a chance that can’t be missed.
What would be your starting line-up for tomorrow and what’s your result prediction?
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ICYMI you can read our analysis of what went wrong against PSV here.