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***PreMatch Analysis*** Valencia at Ibrox - CL Game #3


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We are joint top of the CL with 4 points along with Manchester United. Valencia have 3 points and Bursaspor 0 points after 2 games.

If we can beat Valencia then we would have 7 points after 3 games. Nevertheless we would still have to play away in Spain and Turkey and host Manchester United at Ibrox. It would give us a great chance to reach the last 16. Valencia have yet to visit Manchester. Bursaspor play in Manchester on Wednesday and have yet to play in Spain. If we win on Wednesday we will have a 4 point lead over Valencia and a probable 7 point lead over Bursaspor. Having drawn away in Manchester we would be confident of doing reasonably well away from home.

What will Walter do? Valencia are a class side as their 4-0 defeat of Bursaspor in Turkey showed. They are near the top of the league in Spain too.

I believe he will be cautious and play the same or similar side to the one that started the Bursaspor game. The tactics too will be very similar. In other words it will be a nailbiting evening with the Spaniards having a good bit of possession. We need to keep our share of possession, be quick on the break and very clinical with any chances that come our way. This will be a very tough tie.

Will Walter play one or two up front? Probably one, but if we lose a goal will he then bring on another striker? My guess is no at least not until later in the game except perhaps if things go bad and we go two goals down.

What happens if Broadfoot is not fit? Will Webster come in and Papac play LB? I do not believe McCulloch will be fit. Will Weiss play? Lafferty start? Hutton perhaps?

The team may well be McGregor, Whittaker, Bougherra, Weir, Webster/Papac, Broadfoot/Papac, Naismith, Davis, Edu, Lafferty, Miller.

Or alternatively he may play only two CHs and an extra midfielder which would make the team McGregor, Whittaker, Boughera, Weir, Papac, Naismith, Davis, Edu, Hutton, Lafferty, Miller.

In any event the starting eleven must be very flexible and be vigilant in defence and clinical in attack.

My one worry is Whittaker in defence. He has been poor there recently and Valencia may well target him. I hope he suddenly finds his form.

Prediction: I am going to be optimistic and predict a Rangers victory by one goal.

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This will be a very tough game for us, Valencia are an excellent team and we'll probably have to concede a lot of possession to them. However, we are playing well at home. A win would be great, but i think a draw would be more likely.

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