Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Rangers' best XI to face Hibs - Morelos starts....

Steven Gerrard’s Rangers face Hibs tonight for the first time, with the Anfield legend having yet not faced Neil Lennon’s side during his maiden season in Scotland’s top flight.

The Easter Road outfit had a bright start to the season before dramatically losing their way following a dismal run of results, only for last weekend to potentially kick start their campaign back to life with a well-deserved win over Celtic including a clean sheet.

Rangers are up next for the Hibees, and Steven Gerrard knows only too well how much Lennon will want to get one over on his old nemesis as well as his opposite number, and for Rangers to get the three points at a notoriously hostile venue will take a strong team selection.

Ibrox Noise would present the following XI:


Allan McGregor; James Tavernier, Gareth McAuley, Connor Goldson, Borna Barisic; Ryan Jack, Ross McCrorie; Daniel Candeias, Scott Arfield, Eros Grezda; Alfredo Morelos.

At a venue like Easter Road Hibs are going to attack attack attack. Rangers need a firm grip of midfield and two defensive midfielders directly protecting the rearguard would be a good move – off the ball this would be more of a 4-5-1 with Arfield, Candeias and Grezda retreating and assisting the defence, while in attack Arfield would be crucial for connecting deeper midfield with the attacking three – obviously with support from both Jack and McCrorie.

Alfredo Morelos’ return is a colossal fillip and his ability to hold the ball up and win free kicks will be vital for giving the rest of the lads a breather.

If we look at Hibs’ stats v Celtic, the most telling stat of the lot isn’t possession or shots, it’s shots on target – 6 to Celtic’s 4. Hibs are far better at taking their open play chances than Rangers have been of late, and not only will an effective back six hopefully help to prevent too many such opportunities, but Allan McGregor will need to be on top form to stop Lennon’s side as well.

Rangers’ defence has to be switched on or this team will punish them, and with Morelos, Grezda and Candeias, hopefully good chances can be carved out at the other hand and put away clinically.

Either way, it’s set to be one hell of a match. Hold onto your hats!

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