Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Rangers vs Eintracht Frankfurt: Three Things That Might Make The Difference In The Europa League Final

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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 must be upbeat about their biggest night in recent history ahead of locking horns with Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League final. The untimely exit of Steven Gerrard could have caused a crisis at Ibrox. However, the Gers, under Giovanni van Bronckhorst, exceeded all expectations in European football. They lost the Premiership crown to bitter rivals Celtic, but the stakes are much higher for this coveted silverware given its recognition across Europe.

The Germans, on the other hand, eliminated Barcelona from the quarterfinal. They also knocked out in-form West Ham United from the semis and their quality across the pitch might prove troublesome for Rangers even though the latter depicted their superiority over Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig.

The Gers already have an array of injury absentees and the gaffer, therefore, rested his first-team stars in the recent outings to avoid further setbacks before clashing heads with the Eagles. While the players would demand an electrifying ambience from the travelling supporters, here we have our tactical observations that might decide the outcome of the Wednesday night encounter.

Rangers striker Kemar Roofe is back in training
SEVILLE, SPAIN – MAY 17: Kemar Roofe and team mates of Rangers train during the Rangers FC Training session at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on May 17, 2022 in Seville, Spain. Rangers FC will face Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Europa League final on May 18, 2022. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images). The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/).

Defending The Flanks

Rangers’ attacking threat is instigated from the flanks thanks to the overlapping runs from skipper James Tavernier, Borna Barisic and Calvin Bassey (while operating as a left-back). Ryan Kent, with his pace and flair, keeps the opponents on their toes, but a similar approach from Frankfurt might prove troublesome unless the Light Blues concentrate more on their defensive game. Ansgar Knauff, Filip Kostić, Daichi Kamada and Jesper Lindstrøm offer pace as well as creative spark down the wide, and the likes of Tavernier and Barisic must stay alert given their lack of consistency at the back.

Down The Middle Runs

The Gers have ample options in the centre of the pitch, but the double pivot of Ryan Jack and John Lundstram has made all the difference in the European contests. Lundstram, in particular, has been ruthless with his driving runs and physicality, whereas the technicality of Glen Kamara adds variation in the centre of the pitch. The German side have some decent runners in Djibril Sow and Sebastian Rode, however, it is more crucial for Rangers to dominate the midfield battle given the absence of an outright ‘number 9’ high up the pitch.

Spearheading The Attack

Van Bronckhorst has tried Joe Aribo and Scott Wright as makeshift centre-forwards amid injuries to Kemar Roofe and Alfredo Morelos. Roofe is still in contention for tomorrow’s final, but the Jamaica international must not be handed a starting role even if declared fit for the European final. Meanwhile, Fashion Sakala has emerged as a capable ‘False 9’ with his pace and poaching instinct and the manager should consider him ahead of Aribo and Wright against their Euro rivals.

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