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Discussion Starter #1
Although we were the first Scottish side to reach the last 16 of the Champions League we have not been in the same position in the UEFA Cup since the 2001/02. In that season Advocaat stepped aside and Eck took charge of the matches against eventual winners Feyenoord. A disappointing 1:1 home draw was followed by a 2:3 defeat over in Holland in a closlely run match involving 2 sending offs. Feyenoord beat Inter in the semi and played a Dortmund side wou had knocked the other half of Milan out in the semis. Feyenoord won the final 3:2.

I can't remember the last time we were in a European quarter final and the chances are it won't happen this season. Bremen are not as strong as they were but are still the better side here.

It's taken time for Bremen to kick start their season but they are now well in the title fight sandwiched between Bayern Munich above them and Hamburg just behind them. It says alot about the strength of this year's competition that the SPL leaders are in a last 16 containing the top 3 sides in the Bundesliga as well as the Russian and Dutch champions.

Bremen had a poor Champions Leauge campaign losing out by 5 points to Olympiakos and Real Madrid- only 1 point ahead of Lazio. They did though manage to beat Spanish Champions Real Madrid 3:2 but on the last day took a hiding, 0:3m in Greece. It was enough all in though to drop into the UEFA Cup like Rangers.

To get to the last 16 they easily disposed of Braga 3:0 at home and 1:0 away. It has to be said though that Braga are extremely poor at the moment and going through a bit of a crisis. It's more their dometic form which has cause for concern as Rangers fans.

Their home form has been good this season in all competitions and this has seen them sit second in the Bundesliga. Away from home though they have not been that clever. Since a 2:0 win at Cottbus back at the end of November the win in Portugal is their only away win in all competative matches. They did get a creditable draw away to Bayern Munich in the league but in every other away game they have lost- the most recent being a 0:1 defeat at Frankfurt but Diego was sent off after 40 minutes in that match.

We'll have our work cut out but it does have to be said that this won't be our most difficult home game this season. Bremen for me are better than Rangers but not in the class of Lyon or Barcelona. They are better than Stuttgart though. It will be a difficult match.

It will be the 4-5-1 once more and I think it might be Cousin as the lone striker. Our midfield should be much the same as it has been for the last 2 matches. Dailly should play with Ferguson and Davis around about him. McCulloch will probably come in but it will be interesting to see if it's Adam or Novo on the opposite side. The backline will remain unchanged.

I'm more hopeful than expectant here. Anything from here on in is a bonus.
 

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Not expecting anything from this match, so a positive result would be a bonus. I agree Cousin will play up front on his own, but hopefully it's Hemdani sitting in front of the defence rather than Dailly. Dailly's fine for the SPL, but Hemdani can play football as well as breaking up opposition attacks. I'm pretty sure Novo will get the nod on the right side. From what i've heard Bremen's weakness may be their full-backs.

On one hand we hardly ever lose at home in Europe, but on the other i'd be surprised if Bremen don't win. Baresi will have to be back to his best form.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That would be my preferred lineup too but the papers said before the Pana game that had McCulloch not been ill then he and Adam would have started wide over Novo so we'll just have to wait and see what Walter does there. Now that Dailly has had a couple of games I wouldn't put it past Walter to start him ahead of Hemdani- though I don't know if Hemdani is fit yet.

As I said in another thread I've seen Bremen twice this season and not been overly impressed by them. They were decent away to Bayern Munich but again I think the Bundesliga leaders are not as good as they should be given the players they have it hand- without Ribery in the side they look fairly average.

In saying all that though Bayern Munich are a better side I feel and if Aberdeen can go out and have a go at them I see no reason why we should fear doing the same to Bremen. Walter won't though but I've grown tired of moaning about it so for now I'll just accept it and hope it works for us.
 

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I'm not sure if Hemdani's fit yet either. I was reading some comments from him the other day saying that it'll be a challenge for him to stop Diego, so i'm just hoping he'll get the chance to try.

We should be having a go because, as you say, Bremen are good, but they're not world-beaters. The only way we'll open up is if we go a goal down.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes I think so. Bremen are very strong at home so I wouldn't fancy our chances if we didn't take an advantage over there. It worked out last round but Bremen will beat us over there so a draw is not much to hang on to.
 

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tough game

our defence has looked a bit shaky in the last 2 home games, without us getting punished for it in the result - just hope we can tighten things up for Thursday otherwise we will end up getting punished.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Walter will be cagey without a doubt and I don't think we will see a front 2 till we either go behind or it is very late in the day. This time we do need to score. I know how important the away goal is but I would still rather take something like a 2:1 over there than a 0:0. I think away from home Walter's tactics would suit to grind out a draw. I would not like to see us have to open up over there as we would get done by them. Much better to take our chances in the home match.
 

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1-0 at half-time :thumbsup: Terrible mistake by the goalkeeper :D We've been pretty solid and even before the goal I was thinking it was a better performance than against Panathinaikos at Ibrox. Werder haven't been as good as I thought they'd be so far. Long way to go though. Two of the guys I usually criticise have been pretty good. Broadfoot and Adam.
 

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2-0 full-time. Great performance and thoroughly deserved scoreline. Every player played well imo. I just wish McCulloch had put that 3rd goal in to put the tie beyond doubt. The away leg is certainly not a formality. I remember we beat Dortmund 2-0 at Ibrox and ended up going out on penalties.
 

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Great performance to win tonight, well done. I do feel that stupid look from McCulloch to see if he was offside could cost you in germany, I think 3-0 would of been too much to pull back.
 

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Great performance to win tonight, well done. I do feel that stupid look from McCulloch to see if he was offside could cost you in germany, I think 3-0 would of been too much to pull back.
 

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good performance and result, thought Cousin in particular was superb - perfect example of how a lone striker should play.

Just a pity about the missed chance at the end, that would have buried the tie instead we have to worry about a repeat of Dortmund a few years back!
 

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Great win and our defence and midfield really showed how to stop a team and this time we did some attacking!

A great result over a good team and it should have been 3-0 and this tie would be over. It's not though and we've got to dig in and make sure this win wasn't just for nothing. The 1/4 finals are there for us and hopefully we can progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That's more like it. A very big improvement on not only our home game with Panathinaikos but on all our home games in Europe- except when we were forced to attack after going behind to Stuttgart. When I saw the lineup I had my head in my hands but that was a much more positive display from Rangers. The tell tale sign was the reaction of the support which hasn't had much to get excited about at home in Europe this season but last night it was bouncing.

I agree with all that has been said and my fear is also that Dortmund game. We are well equipped to go for the draw in Bremen but I think they will win that match. In the end I feel it might come down to whether we score or not over there. If we were to score then I think they would have a real mountain to climb.

So unlucky not to take a 3 goal lead. McCulloch in his defence was a bit rusty when the chance game and had done well to make the opportunity but it also has to be said it was a world class recovery from Naldo. If that had been in the other goal I for one would be raving about one of our players had they done that. That tackle could yet be the decider.

As always I have a gripe or two but will keep it short. We had them on the rack and I felt as a team we let them back into it again when we should have finished them off. They were close to keeling over when we took our foot off the gas and invited them forward. Diego was then allowed into the game and it might have cost us on another night- thankfully it didn't.

After Novo got the winner in Greece and then scored 2 as a sub against Hearts I was surprised that it was McCulloch that replaced Cousin. Even Boyd for all his faults must have been scratching his head at that one. But Novo though in particular would have given them something to think about as they pushed forward near the end. His pace could have pinned the defence back rather than allowing them to push up.

All set for a cracking match though in Germany. A totally different game in store as Bremen are solid at home and will go for the jugular straight away. My worry is what happened in Greece. Panathinaikos should have finished us off after scoring and when our defence in the early stages looked ropey. They didn't and we grew stronger. Bremen though won't do that. The first 20 minutes will be crucial.
 

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Congratulations Rangers! 2-0!

Rangers is my 2nd favorite club-team, I hope we can meet with you in the Final! :D
 

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It was great to see last night:) - now for Rangers just to hold on in Germany, or grab an away goal and it is as good as over.
 

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Werder's record in this seasons Bundesliga is 3-4-3 away from home and (more concerningly for you) 10-0-2 at home (no other team has won more than 7 games at home).

I don't think I'm being unkind to say the goalkeeper gave you a great deal of assistance with the result but you still played (quite) well from what I saw of the second half.

I vaguely recall your tie with Dortmund and thought you received an unfair amount of criticism for going out on pens after a 2-0 for each team. At the time it smacked of typical Scottish journalist arrogance that you could possibly lose 2-0 to a team of their standard when (and it's not a dig) you have been nobbled by lowlier opposition than them.:neutral:
 
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