In the final piece of this three-part preview… Real Betis play the exact same tactics as Rangers, but thankfully, just like us they have the exact same problem with their double pivot system. They are slightly weak in midfield, and because of their inability to effectively play out from Barcelona’s high press, they were hammered 5-0 last week.
Their major difference is they are far more willing to take a shot from outside the box. So, expect to see a lot of long-range efforts, and then a few cases of Betis loading the box to cause confusion. Their number 10 Perez is especially dangerous, and I can see him causing Tavernier some problems.
On the other side Luiz Henrique is Betis’ Sima. He is a very skillful player, but he often overdoes it and his actual goal rate for the amount of work done is quite low.
Overall, the biggest difference between how real Betis play and how Rangers approach the penalty box is when Real Betis break out they are not afraid to put up to five players in the opponent’s box. They try to be brave and they try to optimize any chances they get. In Rangers’ case I always remember watching Rangers break out at Ibrox against PSV, and the midfield (clearly under instructions from Beale) did not run up to support the strikers.
Another thing to watch out for is Betis will sometimes bring their wingers into the centre, to draw the defenders to the middle, then reverse the ball out to one of their midfielder who has gone wide, in the hope that they then can get a free run at goal.
However, being honest, Real Betis is just a tidy team, but they are not world beaters, and their strikers are just as bad as ours.
I for one would like to see Rangers go on a strong run, because Scotland’s position in the top 10 is now seriously under threat, with Turkey’s three remaining teams (they started out with four, compared to our five) now overtaking Scotland to go 9th.
Another bad year, and we just might drop back to 11th, or lower, and it will really not matter if we win the league.
So, game on. With fingers crossed that some painful lessons have finally been learnt I am going to predict a two-nil win.