At IN we like to be honest, and after looking at Real Betis in detail, I honestly think Rangers can win. Yes, our midfield is a bit thin, and most of our strikers still have problems scoring, but Real Betis seem to have a much bigger problem, arrogance…
Perhaps it is because Real Betis plays in a hot climate, but the problem I see is they don’t press effectively. They don’t run around a lot, and their attack is 90% limited to hitting the ball in from the wing and hope someone in the middle gets the ball first, and taking long distance pot shots and hoping it hits the top corner.
They are also prone to bring their defenders too far forward, which means they can be hit on the break (but being honest, Rangers now have the same problem).
When you look at Real Betis’ match against Sparta Praha they had real problems. Sparta Praha found their press so weak they could easily get the ball up the park. Against a top team, Real Madrid, Real Betis chose to be far more defensive, and they relied on a fast break, which again relied heavily on passes out to the wing and shots from distance.
So, how will Real Betis set up tomorrow? I think they will play defensively. They are truly arrogant. They think they only need to jog around the park to secure a win. That is how they play every single week, so there is no way they will change their gameplan tomorrow.
But the most important fact is they are the team at the top, and a draw will put them through. But the problem is statistics. Rangers create a lot of chances, and eventually even Lammers can score a goal if he’s given enough shots. We also (miraculously) have all our defenders back (aside ineligibility issues, sadly), and our midfield is starting to generate a real understanding with the forward line.
I honestly think Real Betis are there for the taking. Rangers work far harder, as a team and this is a game where just rolling up the sleeves up, and getting to the ball first, is going to be crucial for deciding who wins and more importantly who gets to the group stage.
But, more importantly, technically (and this was a surprise) our players are equivalent to their best players, yes even Lammers. So, this really comes down to who wants the win more, and if Rangers get a couple of goals, they are going to panic.
After that it is the luck of the draw, and the luck of the January window to see how far we go. You never know, perhaps we can get back Goalak and Hagi back in the team. (fingers crossed).