Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Rangers vs Celtic Tactical Preview: Who Will Have Last Laugh In The Battle Of Gerrard Vs Lennon?

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Although both the teams have made it through to the group stages of the Europa League football, the exit from the Champions League qualifiers has been a massive setback for Neil Lennon’s Celtic. Rangers, on the other hand, have been revived under Steven Gerrard and marched on to progress in Europe for the second successive season by defying the odds.

But these two famous rivals are now set to lock horns at Ibrox on Sunday lunchtime in one of the most exciting derbies across the globe. The rejuvenated Rangers outplayed the Hoops back in May to register a 2-0 triumph, but the win was not enough to snatch the title from the reigning champions who went on to conquer a historic treble ‘treble’ exhibiting their supremacy in Scottish football.

What to expect in the derby from Rangers

The Gers might have won all three of their fixtures so far in the Premiership, but they are still behind Celtic in the league tally as the Champions have not only won all but also maintained a superior goal difference to stay top of the table. Gerrard, therefore, should aim for all three points from this fixture replicating their excellence from the previous meeting around three-and-a-half months back.

Rangers have ample options across the pitch, and the gaffer must pick the best XI for this intriguing outing. Celtic, on the other hand, would rely on an array of summer signings at the back following the exit of Dedryck Boyata, Mikael Lustig and Kieran Tierney who served the Bhoys exquisitely in such high-profile occasions of late.

The Bears must expose this defensive vulnerability with their passing, pressing and directness. The Ibrox crowd is tipped to play a crucial role too by cheering for the home side and jeering their city rivals throughout the contest.

What to expect in the derby from Celtic

Celtic are undergoing a period of transition at this moment, yet they are pretty much determined to meet their season goals in the hunt for ‘nine-in-a-row’. They have netted 15 goals in 3 league games, and the return of Leigh Griffiths has bolstered them further high up the pitch. Lennon might have to rely on a few new names for this epic battle, but the experience of Scott Brown, James Forrest and Callum McGregor would boost them in this encounter.

They have to cut off Rangers’ wing-play, particularly skipper James Tavernier whose runs from the right-hand side and pinpoint crosses inside the box would trouble the Hoops’ depleted backline. However, the temperament of Alfredo Morelos would be vital on Sunday afternoon, and the Bhoys must force the Colombian to lose his cool similar to the previous campaign. El Bufalo has scored ten times already this season, but a red card in this massive tie would be a job done for Celtic irrespective of the hostile ambience.

Verdict

Both the teams have made a stupendous all-win start in the league, but the hosts have an edge for their quality as well as versatility in every department. Rangers, therefore, are likely to sneak a 2-1 win if they manage to produce what they have showcased so far this summer.

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