The excitement surrounding Rangers’ Thursday night Europa League tie against Feyenoord has been marred by the sad demise of club legend Fernando Ricksen. The entire fraternity paid tribute to the famous Dutchman who was battling with motor neurone disease since 2013.
But the show must go on and the Ibrox crowd, buzzing for the midweek contest, would be hoping to extend their European run despite being drawn in a potential ‘Group of Death’. Although the Gers have made it through to the group stages on successive occasions, there’s little hope they would be clinching the silverware defying the odds.
However, there’s one player who has been a part of Rangers’ famous UEFA Cup 2008 run where they suffered heartbreak in the Manchester final against Zenit St Petersburg. Steven Davis was a promising prospect back then who impressed against the likes of Panathinaikos, Werder Bremen, Sporting Lisbon and Fiorentina. But the Northern Irishman, now in his mid-thirties, is relishing the euphoria of European football donning the famous Light Blues’ shirt for the second time in his glittering career.
“I have happy memories from playing in Europe in my first spell and we have some really good ties coming up in our group. It will be a tough group but it’s one I think everyone at the club will look forward to and we will relish the battles ahead.”
Told the 34-year-old midfield maestro (as quoted by the Daily Record) who has been exquisite since joining the Bears from Southampton.
Why Davis Would Be Key In Controlling The Midfield Battle
Feyenoord might not have found their rhythm yet, but they are indeed a superior force and would look to grab a win in Glasgow to boost their knockout hopes. Rangers, on the other hand, would miss the services of Ryan Jack in the centre of the pitch and Davis must step up in his absence by exhibiting his expertise in midfield.
He is not a deep-lying playmaker but is hailed for his versatility, work rate and adaptability. His experience would be the key to orchestrate the entire show, and the combat in the middle of the park should define the destiny of this electrifying encounter.
How Gerrard Should Line Up Rangers Incorporating The Playmaker
Steven Gerrard has ample midfield options but does not hold a like-for-like replacement of Jack. Youngster Greg Docherty won’t be risked in such a heavyweight clash and Davis, even though he prefers to operate from the right midfield role, should be deployed in the middle in behind Glen Kamara and Joe Aribo. This might see him struggling initially, but his composure, game-reading and intercepting attributes would upgrade the Gers’ overall game against Jaap Stam’s juggernaut.
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