Prelude to an Electric Encounter
In the heart of Glasgow, Rangers are readying themselves for an encounter that could define their European journey. With a slender 2-1 advantage, the stakes for Tuesday’s second leg against the Swiss side Servette are astronomical. The victor’s reward? A looming battle against either PSV Eindhoven or Sturm Graz in the play-off round.
However, Rangers are not basking in past glory. As Michael Beale, the Rangers gaffer, rightly pointed out, “We did a good job to get ourselves in front but this game for us starts 0-0. It’s important we try to win – if we do, we know we’re definitely through.”
The Philosophy: All Guns Blazing
“Everything’s to play for, the tie is open and the fact that it’s in front of a full house, it makes the game even more special,” Beale emphasised. And true to their ethos, Rangers don’t intend to rest on their laurels. “It’s just important we attack the game head on. One thing’s for sure is we’re not coming to hold on to what we’ve got,” he declared.
Servette, despite facing the challenges of a red card in their last round against Genk, pulled through heroically on penalties. Recognising this, Beale showed his tactical acumen, “The home form is outstanding for Servette over a number of months so it’s important to start well. There’s going to be opportunities for you if you can regain the ball in interesting areas and attack at speed.”
The Players’ Perspective
Ryan Jack, Rangers’ midfield stalwart, resonated with his manager’s fierce ambition. He chimed, “We want to go and attack, kill the game off.” Speaking of the intimidating European atmospheres, Jack reflected, “It’s the first time the stadium has been sold out in a number of years, so there’s going be a lot of noise, but for us it’s focus on the game and I’m sure if we play the way we can and we start the game well, then that will silence the crowd.”
He further opined about the upcoming game, “They’re going to come, I would imagine, right out the traps. So, we just need to meet that, play our game and I’m sure that will be enough. We’ve had some great results over the years, so we need to use that experience.”
The Line-Up Update
As for the team news, John Lundstram will be a notable absence from the Rangers’ squad. However, the likes of Jack and defender Connor Goldson are fit and ready, having been rested during their recent victory over Livingston in the Scottish Premiership.
On the other side, Servette will welcome back Enzo Crivelli, who was absent from the first leg but featured prominently in their Swiss Super League draw against St Gallen. Gael Ondoua, who missed the trip to Ibrox due to visa issues, has also returned.
The Final Countdown
As the atmosphere at Ibrox reaches fever pitch, the match promises to be an enthralling contest of European pedigree. With the stage set and both teams looking for glory, Tuesday’s clash will certainly be one for the history books.