UEFA Cup Semi Final 1st Leg
Rangers v Fiorentina
Rangers v Fiorentina
At this moment in time, Rangers can be regarded as a club that tries its absolute hardest to ensure that they win at all costs. This mentality includes defending at all costs and countering when neccesary. They play the classic version of the 4-5-1. But it is quite dangerous and we have to be able to put away our chances this time, or they will punish us.
They had a wonderful game against Celtic, but they lost. Down to ten men, they were unable to keep out Vennegor's late winner. However, Celtic dominated the game but still found themselves having to rely on the 5 minutes of stoppage time to take the win. This is not meant to be easy, but with their fixture pile up, their crucial match against Celtic (again), the Scottish Cup final and Rangers down to their last reserves, we absolutely must beat them. Good ol' Barry Ferguson managed to get himself booked a few weeks ago in Lisbon, so he's out. They're also missing K.Thomson. That's not all, they've got DeMarcus Beasley, Charlie Adam, Allan McGregor (their goalkeeper), Lee McCulloch (their counter attacking winger), Steven Naismith (a supposedly good player) all out injured.
So far they've knocked out, Panathinikos, Werder Breman and Sporting. They did not go through the group stages because they were too busy getting hammered in the Champions League. Here is what their team would look like normally:
A.McGregor; K.Broadfoot, D.Weir, C.Cuellar, S.Papac;S.Whittaker, S.Davis, C.Dailly, B.Ferguson, L.McCulloch; J.Darcheville
However, due to the injuries, they should field a weakend team (as below). Fiorentina will have to make do without Tomas Ujfalusi. Yes. You read it here first. The boy has gone down injured. And although the danger of fielding him at right back is a concern relieved. We will have problems at centre back. Kroldrup should step in. I understand though, crucially that Donadel is out. This is the one thing that could lose us the tie altogether.
Rangers 4-1-4-1: N.Alexander; S.Whittaker, C.Cuellar, D.Weir, S.Papac; C.Daily; N.Novo, S.Davis, B.Hemdani, T.Buffel; J.Darcheville
Daily, who really is a defender will sit in front of the back four, trying to keep out all three of our forwards. Buffel and Novo will support the attack with Darchville who will try and ghost in front of our back four. Straightforward really.
Fiorentina 4-3-3: S.Frey; M.Jorgensen, A.Gamberini, P.Kroldrup, M.Pasqual; R.Montolivo, F.Liverani, M.Gobbi; M.Santana, G.Pazzini, A.Mutu.
We are a lot more attacking, but we don't have Ujfalusi (or Donadel who is suspended). So God knows what could happen in this game. For the meantime though, try to enjoy Liverpool v Chelsea.