For some background, Standard also came through three qualifiers to reach league stage.
Standard’s form has been blah recently. In their league they have six wins out of 14 which is only two more than bottom place Oostende. In league games they have scored 17 and lost 12 goals.
In the Europa League they have only won one of their 19 away games.
Basically, they play at a slightly higher level than Celtic (you know, the old one that could play football).
Technically, they have many players in their team who can play very good football, and they really believe they didn’t deserve to lose the last time out.
On Thursday, they will try to press Rangers, and force a high line that can be taken advantage of. They have no choice, given the position they are in, and they changed their shape last week against Lech Poznan, to very good effect.
Most of their best play usually comes down the left wing, and they are not shy to shoot at distance, or to try to whip in high balls from the wing.
Their reliance in shooting from distance and balls in from the wing is mainly down to their lack of incisive play in the last third, which prevents them controlling the ball in the box.
So, they are not as good as Benfica, who we beat on the away goal rule over two games.
For those who are still glum about losing two late goals, it has to be remembered that if we were playing them in the last 16 we would have went through.
Being blunt, even against Standard’s full team (they have no active cv cases) we will still get far more space than we did against Benfica, and we should be able to get a good result.
Let the game begin!