Tuesday, September 27, 2022

What Gerrard Should Do To Ensure He Tactically Outwits Kennedy For A Rangers Win Over Celtic

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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.

Rangers have already conquered the Premiership crown maintaining an ‘invincible’ league status but are expecting a stern contest on Sunday afternoon against bitter rivals Celtic in the Scottish Cup (fourth round) fixture. The Old Firm rivals are set to lock horns at Ibrox and the Hoops, dreadful all season in this esteemed derby, are rejuvenated to salvage something from this disastrous campaign.

Celtic won this competition last year defeating Hearts in a dramatic tie-breaker and are desperate to defend the silverware having endured humiliation across competitions. A 6-0 win against Livingston is a massive uplift and John Kennedy, the interim chief, must be confident enough to stretch his unbeaten streak since replacing Neil Lennon.

The Bhoys impressed under Kennedy’s tutelage when they hosted Rangers a month ago. Alfredo Morelos cancelled out Mohamed Elyounoussi’s opener to settle for a draw, but the Hoops’ statistical supremacy depict how tough an opponent they are now overcoming catastrophe and conundrum.

Celtic and Rangers clashing heads in Old Firm derby
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Kirk O Rourke/Rangers FC/Shutterstock 11812626dg Connor Goldson of Rangers during the Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Celtic v Rangers, Scottish Premiership, Football, Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland, UK – 21 Mar 2021 Celtic v Rangers, Scottish Premiership, Football, Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland, UK – 21 Mar 2021 PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTXHUNxGRExMLTxCYPxROMxBULxUAExKSAxONLY Copyright: xKirkxO Rourke/RangersxFC/Shutterstockx 11812626dg

Stride From The Wide

Steven Gerrard must not underestimate their Glasgow rivals just because they could not defeat the Light Blues this season. It’s a knockout tie and the winners would have a clear run in the upcoming weeks. Celtic’s wing-play must be a concern and the return of James Forrest has bolstered them in the attacking third. The chemistry of Odsonne Edouard and Elyounoussi breached Rangers’ defence at Parkhead and Nathan Patterson, the teenage right fullback, should concentrate more on his defensive duties to break down the link-up play from the wide.

Clash Of Veterans In The Middle Of  The Park

Scott Brown has a point to prove before parting ways this summer. His destructive display has muddled the Gers’ gameplan over the years and the midfield battle would be crucial to define the outcome of this epic encounter. The absence of Ryan Jack is a massive setback for Gerrard, but the calmness, composure and experience of Steven Davis might offer the countermeasure of Brown’s directness and aggression.

Rangers are known for closing down space and playing the passing game in midfield. However, they need to move the ball a bit quicker and make down-the-middle runs to be more direct and menacing in terms of testing the Bhoys’ defensive resolve. Both sides have an array of prominent figures capable of making a difference this weekend, but the iconic Liverpudlian must be relying on Davis more than the others due to his experience and expertise in the centre of the pitch.

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