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***PreMatch Analysis***


nvager

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Rangers vs Celtic SLC Final at Hampden Park Glasgow on Sunday 15th March. Kick-off 3:00 PM.

This match is of tremendous importance. A win would give us the first leg of a possible treble. It would send our confidence sky high. It would really put Celtic under pressure for the remainder of the league.

Can we do it? YES we can. Can we come out really flat - yes we can! What will happen? I think we will WIN it.

A lot depends on what Walter does. I hope we go for it. I hope we play two strikers and a winger. This Celtic team is not that good.

If Walter plays McCulloch in a holding role and one up front the most we will get is a non scoring draw. That's all we ever get with this formation and let good points go to waste as a result. If with this formation we lose a goal especially later on we are sunk as Walter is not good at changing the flow of a game.

Who to play?

With two up front:

The defence may change as Broadfoot is doubtful and off form too. I believe Whittaker will start at RB. I really hope he repeats last Sunday's form as that was probably one of his very best displays for Rangers. Bougherra, Weir and Papac will form the remainder of the defence.

In midfield we can expect Davis, Ferguson, Mendes and ? I hope it is Aaron or Beasley or Novo if fit. Fleck too would be ok, but he is very young.

Up front I believe Walter will play Lafferty and Miller, but I would prefer Lafferty and Boyd.

Will Walter play one or two up front?

Walter being Walter I expect him to play one up front - Miller, play Lafferty on the left wing and bring in McCulloch as an extra defensive midfielder.

He will slug it out with that line up and hope to snatch a goal and prevent Celtic from scoring. To my mind that is dangerous as both McCulloch and Lafferty may give away too many fouls in dangerous positions and help Celtic out. We will also severely lack width. Then if we fall behind, we will have to change formation and we saw at Ibrox that we were not good at coming from behind.

As stated above I feel that we can beat this Celtic team who only really have a threat of goals at present from McDonald up front and Nakamura from midfield. Let's attack them with pace and width. Let Mendes dictate the play. Let Whittaker go forward and link with Davis. Let's order Papac to feed a left winger - Aaron, Fleck, Beasley, whoever. If we do this we should win and by at least two goals.

If we play two up front we win by two goals.

If we play one up front - Miller - we win on penalties after extra time.

A worry I do have is McGregor coming out for crosses against Celtic's big men. He has looked hesitant the last two games and possibly at fault for ICT's penalty and Hamilton's goal. Just another reason to attack and keep them under pressure.

Should be a very interesting game and whoever settles first and keeps their nerve will win the Cup.

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Playing 1 up front shows this celtc team too much respect. They are no good at all and their defence is dodgy. We should treat this game like a home game, go 2 up front and put pressure on them from the start. Hopefully Novo plays some part in this aswell.

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Not trying to start the whole debate (as there's a thread for it), but I can't see why anyone would have Boyd in the squad, let alone the starting 11.

Also, I think Smith is as likely to start with Lafferty up front on his own as he is to start Miller there. Perhaps Lafferty is actually the more likely option, considering his performance at the weekend.

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I hope we start with the same team as we did on Sunday, bringing Novo on later on if he's fit to keep pressure on their defence. Celtic's defence definitely looks dodgy and if we have a go at them then the game is there for the taking

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I don't think you can drop Miller after his last couple of games and Lafferty upfront with Boyd sounds like a horrific partnership.

I never realised Broadfoot was a doubt - he's been needing dropped for months now!

I have no doubt that McCulloch will play in the holding role and my other worries are that Lafferty will play on the left with Miller up on his own :anguish:

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I don't think you can drop Miller after his last couple of games and Lafferty upfront with Boyd sounds like a horrific partnership.

I never realised Broadfoot was a doubt - he's been needing dropped for months now!

I have no doubt that McCulloch will play in the holding role and my other worries are that Lafferty will play on the left with Miller up on his own :anguish:

:anguish: I will cry if this happens.

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I may be wrong, but I feel sure Walter will play it cautiously - that's his style unless he learned from Ally on Sunday.

That means Lee in a holding role and Miller up front. A big question mark as to who will be on the left wing. Its a physical game and walter used to play Adam there in the OF matches or Lee. He cannot now do that. The result seems to me to be Lafferty on the left. He may see that as a way to have a two up front occasionally too. A way to help shackle Nakamura. The sad thing is it robs us of width and Lafferty's effectiveness.

Their forward line is mis-firing big time. Play two up front and a winger. Go for it Walter!

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I don't think you can drop Miller after his last couple of games and Lafferty upfront with Boyd sounds like a horrific partnership.

I never realised Broadfoot was a doubt - he's been needing dropped for months now!

I have no doubt that McCulloch will play in the holding role and my other worries are that Lafferty will play on the left with Miller up on his own :anguish:

:anguish: I will cry if this happens.

I would consider not watching the final if this happens. Lafferty at Left mid is one of the things smith does that enrages me so much I have to compose myself before explaining to people why It's a retarded to have a 6ft+ lanky striker with no crossing ability or left foot on the left wing.

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I don't think you can drop Miller after his last couple of games and Lafferty upfront with Boyd sounds like a horrific partnership.

I never realised Broadfoot was a doubt - he's been needing dropped for months now!

I have no doubt that McCulloch will play in the holding role and my other worries are that Lafferty will play on the left with Miller up on his own :anguish:

:anguish: I will cry if this happens.

I would consider not watching the final if this happens. Lafferty at Left mid is one of the things smith does that enrages me so much I have to compose myself before explaining to people why It's a retarded to have a 6ft+ lanky striker with no crossing ability or left foot on the left wing.

Won't happen, recent interview with Walter from the TIMES ONLINE.

Kyle is a centre forward. For younger players it is sometimes easier to blood them out in the wider areas - John Fleck is another example of that. Kyle is not a dribbler, and he won't swing in great crosses, though he works well. But out wide is not his natural position - he is a centre forward and that is where he will play for us.
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I dont anticipate anything interesting about Walters team selection, because its almost 100% certain he'll start with this line up barring injuries.

---------------------------M'gregor------------------------------

--Whittaker--------Bougherra-----Weir---------Papac-------

---------------------------M'culloch-------------------------

--Davis----------Ferguson---------Mendes------Lafferty------

---------------------------Miller-------------------------------

Will have the usual approach, keep it tight and hope to nick one. Unfortunately we hand Gordon Strachan an advantage well before the game as he always knows exactly what to expect. Lets just hope it still works though.

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I dont anticipate anything interesting about Walters team selection, because its almost 100% certain he'll start with this line up barring injuries.

---------------------------M'gregor------------------------------

--Whittaker--------Bougherra-----Weir---------Papac-------

---------------------------M'culloch-------------------------

--Davis----------Ferguson---------Mendes------Lafferty------

---------------------------Miller-------------------------------

Will have the usual approach, keep it tight and hope to nick one. Unfortunately we hand Gordon Strachan an advantage well before the game as he always knows exactly what to expect. Lets just hope it still works though.

Everyone is expecting this team or a variation maybe at left mid.

I just hope he goes for it, but as stated in my original post the team you just laid out is for me too the likeliest one from Walter.

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