Rangers are back in European action tomorrow as we welcome Real Betis to Ibrox. The Spanish club have had a start very similarly to Rangers with 2 wins, 1 draw and 2 losses from their opening 5 fixtures. They’ve also got come off the back of a 5-0 drubbing against Barcelona so this could be a good time to play them.
The club from Seville boast a host of familiar names in their squad, including having ex Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini at the helm. Their current team includes the likes of;
- Ayoze Perez
- Willian Jose
- Marc Roca
- Hector Bellerin
- Marc Batra
They also have Andres Guardado, William Carvalho and Nabil Fekir currently out injured. This side is no joke. That being said, despite their squad strength and Rangers lack of form, this is a European night at Ibrox. If this Rangers side don’t fancy themselves behind 50,000 in blue then they’re at the wrong club.
This is a HUGE chance for the team to get the fans fully back on side. The run of victories needs to start now, the win on Saturday was a start but it must be built upon.
GK – Jack Butland – Barring injury the big Englishman will always be starting, for me, anyway. He’s the one summer signing that’s been a positive so far and deserves his number 1 spot at the club.
RB – James Tavernier – Another great assist at the weekend but tomorrow he’ll be asked to do a lot more defensive work. It will be a test for him and he needs to stand up and make sure he does his defensive duties first.
CBs – Connor Goldson & Ben Davies – Davies was given the nod at the weekend and I think it will be the same for tomorrow. Rangers are unbeaten when Goldson and Davies have played together, let’s hope that run continues.
LB – Borna Barisic – He was rested at the weekend and with Ridvan not included in the squad, the Croatian will come back in. His delivery from wide and set-pieces could be massive in Rangers creating chances.
Like Tavernier though, he needs to make sure he’s at it defensively.
CDM – Ryan Jack – Another who was rested at the weekend, I think he’ll come in for John Lundstram. He adds a calmness to the midfield which may be needed on a night like this. Him playing deeper also allows Raskin to push further up where he was very effective on Saturday.
RCM – José Cifuentes – With Nico Raskin out, it could be time for the Ecuadorian international to step in. Beale said he’s had a tough time adjusting to life in Glasgow, which is understandable.
Now would be a great time for him to show the Rangers support what he can really do. He’ll add energy to the midfield that could be missing if Lundstram comes in.
LCM – Tom Lawrence – When he played more centrally in the second half on Saturday he was like a different player from the first half. He played with confidence and determination which, ultimately, led to the second goal.
His passing and vision can be a real asset in the midfield and he can fill the void left by Todd Cantwell’s injury.
RW – Abdallah Sima – He replaced the injured Danilo at the weekend and provided some real pace in the team. He also provided width in the second half and had some dangerous moments.
If Rangers don’t have much of the ball he’s a great option to hit Betis on the counter with.
ST – Kemar Roofe – The clubs best finisher, simple as that. As long as he’s fit he needs to be in the team.
LW – Rabbi Matondo – Similar to Sima, he provided genuine pace and width in the second half in Perth. A great option for the counter attack if we’re on the back foot at times.
He’s shown much better composure this season. Two great finishes against PSV and St. Johnstone show he’s capable of providing numbers this season.
Rangers need to try and be on the front foot from the get go. That’s what the fans want to see. Use the ball well when we have it and press them relentlessly when we lose it.
If the players put in the effort, the fans will be behind them all the way. This is a chance to lay down a marker and leave ourselves in a good position within a group. A loss here and it’ll be more difficult to progress.
Who do you think should start? What formation do you think Michael Beale will go with? Are you confident of a result?
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ICYMI you can read yesterdays article, focused on Tom Lawrence here.