Ibrox Noise FK Shkupi UEL special


Something a little different for you today; Ibrox Noise, Richard and Greg have teamed up to give you three different XIs for tonight’s crucial second leg and why. Whose do you prefer?

thinks that one of the most important games in Stevie G’s short managerial life has come upon him far too quickly. He has hardly had enough time to get even a fraction of all his wonderful ideas together with his new players. If we get knocked out of the competition as early as last year, it would be an unmitigated financial disaster for such a massive club to fall again at the first hurdle.

He is working so hard with the squad and I am positive that it will all be worthwhile in the end.
My main worry is the poor timing of this critical qualifying round of the Europa Cup. It takes time with so many new players trying to fully gel together as a team, all at once.

Stevie knows he needs more time to practice his ideas with the lads, and to polish their individual talents into real teamwork. He still hasn’t worked out every player’s best position, but that will come and will benefit the players and Rangers.

With a very hard fought 2-0 win at Ibrox already in the bag, how does Gerrard and his talented background staff deal with this 2nd leg in Macedonia against FK Shkupi. He could decide to play the away game in a different style to how he set his team out to play at home in the 1st leg.

I am only a Rangers football writer with a lot of different opinions to other Light Blues fans, for what it is worth – here is my team in a 3-5-1-1 formation and I wish Gerrard the best of luck for this momentous game.

With Tavernier and Murphy playing as wing-backs, the back 3 becomes a 5 in seconds when Shkupi have the ball. As soon as we retrieve the ball, the 2 wing-backs start the quick attacks on the breaks.

                                        Flanagan          Goldson         Katic
                          Tavernier      Jack        McCrorie         Ejaria         Murphy

Subs from: Jak Alnwick, Declan John, Greg Docherty, Daniel Candeias, Lee Hodson, Andy Halliday, Glenn Middleton, Zak Rudden and Aiden Wilson,

Injured: Jordan Rossiter, Scott Arfield, Graham Dorrans and Lee Wallace.

Meanwhile Greg is even more radical – he’d drop Tavernier entirely.

We need solidity in the middle and back to avoid being caught out, while I’d ditch the captain to prove he’s entirely dispensable. Greg Docherty and Ryan Jack combine in the middle – I reckon they’d work well together and compliment each other.

I’d also select Josh Windass up front because frankly the guy is a striker, a goalscorer, and it’s his best position – and he’s not wasteful Morelos.

My XI (4-1-4-1)

McGregor, Flanagan, Goldson, Katic, John; McCrorie; Candeias, Docherty, Jack, Murphy; Windass

As for Ibrox Noise?

It is vital to shore up the space between defence and midfield. Shkupi got far too much joy and McCrorie had frankly a weak game – either the youngster needs assistance or he’s out of form, but far too much went through him and I’d rest him – he may also still be carrying that foot injury. I also think Greg’s onto something with Windass to an extent – I’d play him as a free-roaming 9 and 10 in one – he’s a natural goalscorer and is rarely credited for his timing in the box – plus he’s a deeper attacker too with those late bursts too, and I’d partner him with the outstanding Ejaria.

As for formation? 4-1-4-1 is not working – it’s plain to see this formation is not playing to many of the players’ strengths. McCrorie and Candeias have really struggled the past two matches in their new positions, and Windass is utterly isolated on the right.

My XI:

Good old fashioned 4-4-2 with a hint of experiment…

McGregor; Flanagan, Goldson, Katic, John; Tavernier, Docherty, Jack, Middleton; Ejaria, Windass

So, whose lineup do you readers prefer?

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  1. None of them! – but, that just shows how many options we have. Realistically Tav isn't getting dropped. The importance of the game also rules out "experiments". Morelos will play. – my team would be: gk: McGregor, defence: Flanagan (RB) goldson, katic, john, midfield: Tav (RM) mcrorie, jack, ejaria Murphy. ST: Morelos. – it's solid with creativity to get us through comfortably. I know there is more dynamic teams we can put together but this isn't a game to go with Sadiq, Middleton for their 1st starts Although I'm looking forward to seeing them starting soon.

  2. 3 – 4 – 2 – 1 (Conte system)
    Flanagan Goldson Katic
    Tav John
    Jack McCrorie
    Candeais Murphy

    Would play Jack ahead of Docherty as Jack came on at 55 last week and helped the team retain possession.
    Big fan of Declan John so have made way for him in the team for the underwhelming Windass.
    As much as Morelos has been poor I think he's the bigger asset and we need to work on him a goal tonight should give him confidence.

    As much as I would love to this team every week it is fair to say though I think the team will be unchanged apart from Jack for Arfield. Very small chance Middleton will start at the expense of Windass which I'd agree with but it's all fantasy and I do not see Gerrard change anything apart from Jack in.

    • Like this idea… would play jack for a more defensive option or Docherty if we wanted to be more aggressive in attack. In this formation I would also drop John to the bench as an impact sub and have murphy for John and Middleton playing further forward.

  3. IN wins for me…solid back 4 defence – strength & touch through the middle, with speed and touch on the wings and up front, should hopefully keep their defence busy…the solid back 4 for this game swung me though, Tav left too much space last game…hopefully bring Alfie on when we're 2 or 3 up and the pressure's off him. I think the wee man will start thb, but I'd have him on the bench, Windass is a better finisher (with his feet that is, neither know how to heeder a baw but!)

  4. All I can say is thank goodness Greg isn’t the manager – but mind you none of the three of you should give up your day job! Windass doesn’t work hard enough to play up top on his own, and with no outlet the ball would just keep bouncing back putting constant pressure on the defence. Tavenier is the one most likely to deliver the killer ball that will bring us that much needed away goal. McRorie was the best thing since sliced bread to Ibrox Noise – but now that he’s had a bad game you’d rest him. Wait until your current fave Middleton has a poor game and he’ll be bombed out to. Let’s go – whatever the team!

  5. Sorry, none of the above, or all with modifications
    1)SG is not going to start by dropping his captain. Not happening, although possible he could move into midfield that loses Candeias or Windass who was there last week
    2) I agree we need to be more defensive away from home, but 2 CDMs would cover that, leaving Full backs to attack. Tav & John for me, but some may want Flanagan. I would have Jack and either McCrorie or Docherty
    That leaves us with 3 players in behind a striker, or 2 wide and 2 up top. We can't play a high press in heat, so need to sit back a little. That gives us the chance to use pace against them. But only have three subs, so changes are a gamble. I would start with Murphy in the hole with Middleton left, Candeias right to be replaced with Windass or Atakayi depending on how the first half plays out. Morelos to run his heart out first half then be replaced or joined by Murphy or Windass, someone young like Ejaria with legs to come on at same time.
    Hope this makes sense, apologies if it doesn't. Suspect it is closest to Greg's in formation if not people.

  6. The idea of resting anyone after one competitive game is ludicrous. Morelos and Windass scored so many goals last season, so we need to give them a decent chance to get going. None of this knee-jerk reaction stuff. McCrorie and Jack as DMs in a 4-2-3-1.

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