Rangers were in for a disaster after beating Celtic and Ajax back to back 4-0. While the humiliation of the former firm itself was a new low for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side, things could have turned midway through last week had the Dutch giants been calmer in front of the aggravated goal. Their weekend game against Aberdeen was called off following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, but Gers have little time to recover before hosting Napoli on Tuesday night.
The Serie A giants destroyed Liverpool in Napoli to start their Champions League run. Luciano Spalletti’s juggernaut has shown absolute superiority from defense to attack, and Light Blue needs to show resilience to avoid more pain and move on.
Rangers planned 4-2-3-1 formation to face Napoli
Jon McLaughlin made some good saves against Ajax to overcome his errant performance in the derby. He should hold his place between the two teams and inspire Rangers to start again after a disastrous week.
James Tavernier, replaced at half-time, struggled against Ajax on the right side. The captain has knocked on the door, but is likely to recover before their next encounter. Borna Barisic was the only Gers player to be impressed by the relentless running and crosses down the left side of Rangers’ back four, although he was heavily criticized for his weakness in defence. James Sands is expected to retain a place in defense in depth alongside the ubiquitous Conor Goldson.
The Dutch manager needs to be more flexible when choosing midfield options. Neither Glen Kamara nor Ryan Jack can do enough depth on the pitch, so the gaffer is expected to pick veteran Steven Davis and John Lundstram as his ‘double pivot’.
Another disappointing Ryan Kent needs to show some signs of improvement before it’s too late. He is expected to remain in a left-wing role, with Scott Wright likely to feature on the right, despite a lackluster first-half performance against Ajax. Tom Lawrence and Ianis Hagi are still injured, and young point guard Malik Tillman needs to try his luck on and off the offensive 3-pointer. Given Scott Arfield’s vast experience and flexibility in the middle of the park, he should come off the bench.
Antonio Colak has had a few memorable outings but should still lead the attack after a tumultuous start to his career with Rangers. Alfredo Morelos is to remain on the bench for the Croatia international due to his form and physical condition.