Xtratime Community banner

1 - 20 of 44 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,958 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The formality of beating one set of hoops, again, is now out of the way so we now turn to another set of hoops from Lisbon. I'd imagine green and white of Sporting will prove a tougher nut to crack than their green and grey counterparts across the city. This is a biggy for us. It's been a long time since we've taken part in a European quarter final.

Sporting aren't having the best of seasons but are now at least within touching distance of the Guimaraes and Benfica who are 4 points ahead- all a long way behind runaway leaders Porto. Setubal's win tonight brings them within a point of Sporting so they are looking in all directions at the moment in the Superliga. Sporting notched up a rare 3:1 win away to Naval at the weekend but the home side only have 3 league wins at home all season so it's not much of an indicator.

Sporting have saved their best performances for home. In the league they are unbeaten with 8 wins and 3 draws from their 11 home games. Since the turn of the year though they have lost 4 league games on the road. Interestingly they seem to struggle to score in their away matches usually losing those 0:2 Boavista, 0:1 Belenenses, 0:1 Setabul and 0:2 Guimaraes. When they lose they don't usually lose by much though so we will find them hard to break down- especially in the formation we employ. I'd expect if things are not going our way we will switch to a 4-4-2.

Like Rangers Sporting got here after finishing 3rd in the their Champions League group- Roma and Manchster United finished above them. That was obviously a difficult group as those two sides contest a Champions League semi final tomorrow against each other again. Sporting finished on 7 points with 6 of those coming from 2 victories over Dinamo Kiev who finished with no points at all. The other point came in a 2:2 home draw with Roma.

Against Basel though in the UEFA Cup they were very impressive. They won both legs with a 5:0 aggregate score. Iin the round of 16 they had probably the easiest draw. Not that Bolton are a push over, Atletico will testify to that, but Bolton fielded a second string side in the away leg and Sporting scraped through 2:1 on aggregate.

They are a good side without a doubt and obviosuly technically better than we are. But we do have a good record against Portugese sides. We knocked out Maritimo not so long ago and took 4 points from 6 from Porto in the Champions League. I don't believe Sporting are as good a side as Bremen but do think these games will be tighter.

I'd rather we took a lead over to Lisbon but on this occassion I don't actually think it's a disaster if we don't. I think we are capable of scoring over there and maybe going through the same way as against Panathinaikos if we finish the first leg level. Setting up the way we do at home that is a distinct possibility. It might take a little bit of luck and the full house if we are to win the first leg.

I can't imagine Walter will deviate too much from the team that won at a canter in the Old Firm derby. Thomson is obviously a concern and if Papac is over his illness I'd expect him to start ahead of Whittaker. Hemdani, who was sent home midweek from the Algerian squad with sore baws, may come into play as well.

Probably the clean sheet is more important than the win here. I never thought I would say that but in this match I think it is. Over the two games I don't see there being many goals so if we get any at Ibrox it will be a bonus.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,978 Posts
I'm back to my pessimistic self when it comes to us facing European teams that have a decent reputation :D

I know what you're saying about nicking a goal away from home like we did against Panathinaikos, but we were really lucky that night, and I think Sporting are a step up from thr Greeks. Probably not as good as Werder Bremen though, as you say. We've been punching above our weight in a lot of European games this season and I really feel we'll need to take a lead to Portugal.

As always, with Walter's European approach, it's where our goals are coming from. We couldn't score against Pana and the howler from the German keeper gifted us the lead against Bremen. Darcheville should start if he's fit, but Cousin will still be a big miss. Surely it won't be the same line-up as the Old Firm match. I still say Novo should start on the right. His pace will cause them problems. Walter will probably play Fat Charlie as he seems to think that he's suited to European games.

Obviously losing an away goal won't be ideal, but i'll settle for any win.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36,665 Posts
Sporting aren't having the best of seasons but are now at least within touching distance of the Guimaraes and Benfica who are 4 points ahead- all a long way behind runaway leaders Porto. Setubal's win tonight brings them within a point of Sporting so they are looking in all directions at the moment in the Superliga. Sporting notched up a rare 3:1 win away to Naval at the weekend but the home side only have 3 league wins at home all season so it's not much of an indicator.
A couple of small corrections to your otherwise impressively well documented preview: we are currently 5th with the same points of Setúbal (they have a better head-to-head against us). We beat Naval 4-1 and that was our biggest away win this season and also the first time we've scored 4 goals away for the League in the last 2 and a half years.

I am not at all optimistic for this tie and I think you are favourites. Not because I think you have a better team than ours (on the contrary) but our form has been too rollercoaster-like so far this season.

Let's hope for two cracking games in any case. :thmbup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,978 Posts
I'd make it 51-49 in Sporting's favour :D

Whereas you say your form has been really up and down, we've just been plodding along steadily and winning practically every match (13 in a row in the league). If we catch Sporting on one of their bad days then I think we're more than capable of beating them comfortably. I'm expecting Sporting to perform well on the back of their confidence-boosting win at the weekend, although I also expected Bremen to play very well at Ibrox and we outplayed them.

Won't be putting big money on the outcome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,958 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
@Filipe Reis- Thanks for those corrections. I realised the wrong score from the weekend earlier today but must have added up Setabul's points wrong.

What formation will Sporting be using at Ibrox?

I'm hoping it's one of Sporting's down turns too. Rangers have been consistent as Angle says but we are starting to look a little tired too. Hopefully with the bouncy going we'll find a bit more energy than on a league day.

I'm with you Angle concerning Novo but still think he's better off the bench. If we are looking to win this game then I see no better than him to start on the right. Burke has just fallen out of things altogether and as much as I like Davis that's not where he should be playing. On the left it's fat lazy or anonymous.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,958 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
@Filipe Reis- Thanks for those corrections. I realised the wrong score from the weekend earlier today but must have added up Setabul's points wrong.

What formation will Sporting be using at Ibrox?

I'm hoping it's one of Sporting's down turns too. Rangers have been consistent as Angle says but we are starting to look a little tired too. Hopefully with the bouncy going we'll find a bit more energy than on a league day.

I'm with you Angle concerning Novo but still think he's better off the bench. If we are looking to win this game then I see no better than him to start on the right. Burke has just fallen out of things altogether and as much as I like Davis that's not where he should be playing. On the left it's fat lazy or anaonymous.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,978 Posts
I'm not going. Was going to, but decided it's my day off anyway and i'd rather spend the £40 on getting pished through the day and watching it in the pub :thumbsup::D

I tried to get a ticket for the Hibs match the other week. My choices were 'restricted viewing' or 'extremely restricted viewing'. Where the hell does extremely restricted viewing come from? :wth: Off-topic though...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36,665 Posts
What formation will Sporting be using at Ibrox?
We will most certainly be using our normal 4x4x2 with a diamond shaped midfield. Probably with this line-up:

Rui Patrício
Abel - Tonel - Polga - Grimi
Miguel Veloso
Izmailov - João Moutinho
Romagnoli
Liedson - Vukcevic​

We have been having great results and good performances immediately followed by an anonimous day with a defeat therefore our league win at Naval is quite meaningless.

Having said this we are still to have a bad performance so far in Europe this season. We undeservedly lost at home with Man Utd and away at Roma, we fought until the end at Old Traford to fall at the 90th minute from a CR freekick and we also undeservedly lost the chance of beating Roma in Lisbon with an unlucky own goal on added time. Apart from this we strolled over Dynamo Kiev, Basel and Bolton.

If a bad Sporting shows up at Ibrox, you will win comfortably and go through to the Semis. If a good Sporting shows up, I think your luck with the green colour is over this season. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,958 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
@Drito- I hope it's an enjoyable visit. :thmbup:

@Filipe Reis- Thanks for the info.

That's interesting that you play a diamond. W play 5 in midfield so our central 3 will probably go man for man with the top 3 points of your diamond in that area. Walter Smith has hinted today he'll play more offensively in this match but that woun't be a change from the 4-5-1. Where I see him doing it is being more offensive in the wide midfield areas- Angle_Eyes has already mentioned playing Novo on one side.

This is where I think Rangers can cause problems for Sporting. Our fullbacks will overlap with the wide midfielders which could give your full backs trouble. Our more offensive approach, in comparison to usual, will probably invlove harrassing your players when you get the ball and closing them down quickly. Thats the way we play and Sporting won't find they get the time and space they usually do in Portugal- though they will have experienced that against Bolton.

The biggest problem for Rangers will be firstly getting the ball and then keeping a hold of it. We'll probably not do the latter and instead go direct without any build up. With Sporting being technically better then I would expect when they have the ball it will be difficult for us to get it back off them. That is why we must harrass for 90 minutes.

It should be a very close match I feel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,867 Posts
Tough match and its a pity Cousin isnt going to be fit in time as his performance in the home match against Werder Bremen was superb. Hopefully he'll be ok for the 2nd leg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,978 Posts
I forgot Charlie was suspended for tomorrow because he got booked in Bremen. He's out injured for 6 weeks anyway though. He needs an operation. Cartilage damage. And with his fitness levels he's probably out for the season. Not exactly a huge miss, but it leaves the squad thinner, especially on the left.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44,603 Posts
Sporting is fav...head to head two weak teams away from home but Sporting will score tomorow.

Their problem is that they have 12-13 good players the rest is crap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,978 Posts
kleber, I agree with what you're saying to an extent about Sporting being favourites, but I can't take your opinion seriously. You're just so blinkered when it comes to football. You dislike Scottish football in general. You've written off Celtic when they played Benfica and you've written off Rangers when we played Porto and look what happened.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,529 Posts
last two rounds I have predicted that rangers will lose out, so this time - I'll go for a gers win :D. Though a lot of expectation is on the team this time, and gers haven't always reacted well in the past.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44,603 Posts
kleber, I agree with what you're saying to an extent about Sporting being favourites, but I can't take your opinion seriously. You're just so blinkered when it comes to football. You dislike Scottish football in general. You've written off Celtic when they played Benfica and you've written off Rangers when we played Porto and look what happened.
And head to head who is better,Celtic or Benfica in a tie?:wth::wth:,Porto/Rangers!?:dielaugh:

Sporting is better but that doesn't mean Rangers can not go trough but Sporting is better then Rangers away...1-2 is a good result for them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,978 Posts
Celtic finished above Benfica in the Champions League. And Rangers likewise with Porto. This is what I mean. You can't argue with these facts. You have no sense of logic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,958 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Celtic finished above Benfica in the Champions League. And Rangers likewise with Porto. This is what I mean. You can't argue with these facts. You have no sense of logic.
Also just 3 seasons ago Hearts knocked Braga out of the UEFA Cup.
 
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
Top