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Alternate Rangers line up for Celtic showdown as supporters demand top stars rest for Leipzig

Giovanni van Bronckhorst doesn't want to risk injuring any of his key players before the return against Leipzig but also wants to field a competitive side. (Author: Gardener)

LeipzigRangers made their final trip to Parkhead with their strongest line-up and were blown away by rivals Celtic during a midweek break. So it could be a risky move for Giovanni van Bronckhorst to travel around the city and field an inexperienced squad. But could it be the Dutchman's best option as Rangers are still very strong in Europa League semi-final clash against RB Leipzig? That means it's a balancing act for Van Bronckhorst between allowing his key men to recover to get them to the final and being competitive against Celtic. Here, Record Sport have been scouting a possible line-up for the derby that would allow them to do so, as supporters insist it goes next Thursday. But leaving with the 34-year-old doesn't really weaken the side, as demonstrated by the recent Scottish Cup semi-final win over Celtic as he continued his starting streak in the competition. American Sands came on as a substitute in Germany and is unlikely to be considered from the start for a key role in Van Bronckhorst's return. The versatile ex-New York City man has played at international level so at least has decent experience and could slot into defence. The youngster is very popular at Ibrox and Giovanni van Bronckhorst has highly praised the Pollok boy. Came on recently as a substitute after Filip Helander was injured against St Mirren and could benefit from a top-team derby. The former Bournemouth man has only played six times this season and appears to be leaving Ibrox but could play in the left-back role if Calvin Bassey and Borna Barisic are cotton-packed. Many Rangers fans think he should get more chances in the first team and not just in a situation like this. So it seems like the perfect opportunity to let him rehearse the big stage if Van Bronckhorst decides to rest key men. Again, many Ibrox club supporters would have the 37-year-old in their strongest eleven but he has been used sparingly. However, Davis showed how much he still has to offer when he came on as a substitute against Celtic and against Motherwell in the Scottish Cup semi-finals at Hampden. The Northern Ireland Under-21 international has just been voted the club's Academy Kid of the Year and there are really high hopes for him. The former Manchester United youngster has plenty of confidence and could lean on Davis, who was influential in seeing him switch allegiance from the Republic to Northern Ireland. The former Canada captain would be another old hand to need for such a daunting trip around town and is on a derby high after his recent goal against Celtic in the dramatic Scottish Cup semi-final win at Hampden. The Manchester United boy on loan is likely still having nightmares about his recent trip to Celtic Park, having only been thrown in at the deep end for just his second game. Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst (R) and Amad Diallo during the clash with Motherwell The Zambian was one of the changes for last week's trip to Motherwell and Van Bronckhorst could go through the middle with him again. Came off the bench in Germany but wasn't as effective as Joe Aribo in the central role early in the second half.

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Peter Gulacsi says Rangers have adopted defensive tactics in Germany

The Hungarian goalkeeper admitted the man had adopted defensive tactics from Giovanni van Bronckhorst in Germany. (Author: Gardener)

GermanyRB Leipzig captain Peter Gulacsi accused "defensive" Rangers of bus parking and reckons the Ibrox side could play into their hands next week for having to try. Rangers have to make up for a 0-1 deficit against the German team in the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday. Leipzig have only lost once in their last 11 away games and that was at Bayern Munich. Leipzig needed just five minutes from time to finally defeat Rangers, who would return to Glasgow in a very respectable goalless draw. And former Liverpool goalkeeper and Hungary international Gulacsi was clearly unimpressed by Giovanni van Bronckhorst's tactics. He said: "Rangers played very defensively and it wasn't easy. It felt like they had two blocks of five and we had to play patiently. Now we have to face a difficult game in Glasgow but we've already shown how good we are we are." We can play away at Bergamo and San Sebastián in this competition." "And Rangers need to come out more, then we'll have more space to attack." But other Leipzig stars also showed a lot of respect for the Ibrox side and acknowledged how difficult it was the second leg in Glasgow will be." Goalscorer Angelino said: "We worked very hard for this win and deserved it because we dominated the game for most of the game. We didn't give Rangers many chances. "It was a team result and we have to repeat that in Glasgow." German national defender Benjamin Henrichs admitted: "Rangers demanded a lot from us, especially in the first half. We did better after the break and created a few chances." We can thank Angelino for that shot because it put us in a good position for the second leg." We played patiently and attacked at the right moments, but we didn't manage to play with enough pace and create as many chances as we would have liked."

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Ranking of the 10 Most Valuable Players for NY Rangers in 2021-22

Which players had the biggest impact on New York Rangers' return to the playoffs this season? (Author: Gardener)

2021-22The New York Rangers have played 81 of the 82 games of the 2021-22 schedule, with the final contest taking place Friday night at Madison Square Garden in a possible playoff preview against the Washington Capitals. Each year, Rangers ask the people who cover the team - reporters, broadcasters, etc. In my opinion, the point isn't necessarily to reward the best statistical season, but rather the player(s) who made the most notable contributions and brought value have all situations. Several players have had stellar seasons, with five star performers and a handful of others providing key ingredients to Rangers' recipe for success. Some might make the case for Alexis Lafrenière here, thanks to his 18 consistent goals that rank second on the team. But in my opinion, Lindgren brought more value as a top 4 defender who eats up more than 20 minutes per game, mainly against the opponent's top strikers. It may feel like the 24-year-old has settled into the second half of the season, when he and partner Adam Fox had a few noticeably off nights, bringing some situational advantages to the pair of K'Andre Miller-Jacob Trouba. Statistically, Lindgren and Fox remained Rangers' best pair. They were the only duo to have more dangerous chances on the ice (216) than allowed (198) according to the Natural Stat trick and had the best shot percentage at 51.05%. And while Fox is the star, Lindgren is what head coach Gerard Gallant described as the "unsung hero." He brings toughness, stability and strong defensive instincts. Of all the first-round draft picks from the past five years to appear for Rangers in 2021-22 -- making a total of six -- none have shown as much growth as Miller. The 22-year-old defenseman has become a workhorse in his sophomore season, with enticing skills and a size that give him a higher advantage than any of the blue liners in the blueshirts' loaded candidate pool. This manifested itself in the second half of the season when Miller led all Rangers defenders with a 51.23% xGF since Christmas, according to Evolving Hockey, leading to Gallant using him for a 20:38 per game average. With his mix of skill, speed and a powerful left-footed shot, it's easy to see him building on the 20 points (seven goals and 13 assists) he has this season. Fans will continue to debate whether Rangers should have given Goodrow a six-year deal, but there's no denying his impact this season. Added versatility, guts and playoff experience to the 29-year-old, and he has done just that. Intangibles and defense remain his strengths, with Rangers conceding just 1.85 goals per 60 minutes on even strength with the two-time champions on the ice. But he's also topped his previous career high with 33 points (13 goals and 20 assists) and is excellent at pushing his way into the dangerous areas around the net that Gallant's system demands. While Chris Kreider, Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad give Rangers a trio of all-star forwards, Strome continues to chug along as a reliable fourth wheel. He remains a crucial component of offense, with the Blueshirts averaging 3.17 goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five while he's on the ice. That's the best GF/60 among players who've been with the team all season, while Strome is fifth with 53 points (21 goals and 32 assists). The addition of Andrew Copp at the close gives Rangers an alternative second line if Strome exits their plans as a free agent this summer, but letting the 28-year-old go would be a risky proposition. His performance, averaging 0.81 points per game over the last three seasons, is proven, as is his chemistry with Panarin and his influence as a dressing room leader. Trouba took longer than some to find his comfort zone in New York, but his third season here was undoubtedly his best. The 28-year-old defender's robust playing style has made him a leading player as Rangers aimed to become a more difficult team to play. But his influence runs deeper than his 207 goals, which rank seventh in the league among defenders. Trouba is a robust defender who chews an average of 22:26 TOI per game. His GA/60 has declined every year in the blueshirts, from 2.85 in his debut season down to 2.13 this last season. He also had his best offensive season of the three, scoring 39 points and setting a new career high with 11 goals. Their pair has become interchangeable with Lindgren and Fox, leaving Gallant with two fixed options to choose from depending on the individual pairing. This feels like an irreverent place to field one of the best defensemen in the NHL, but the top 5 is loaded. Fox started the season looking like he was going to repeat himself as the Norris Trophy winner, scoring points at will and seemingly doing whatever he pleased with the puck on his racquet. As a result of his excellence, standards rose to a level that was difficult to maintain, which is why it attracted attention when his pace slowed after a brief stint on injured reserve after Columbus' Vladislav scored on January 27 Gavriko. Gallant made some efforts to limit attrition by reducing his stakes, but the 24-year-old continued to play in all situations and still led the team at 23:55 TOI per game. Fox ended up scoring 73 points, becoming the third defenseman in Rangers history to have 60 assists in a season. He was their only D-Man with an xGF above 50% this season (50.38%), capping a strong third NHL season that probably won't garner any awards but was still pretty damn good. The decision to rest Zibanejad because of Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens ended a streak of 184 straight games, underscoring his reliability. His goal-scoring pace hasn't quite returned to his blistering pre-COVID pace just yet, but he was still second on the team at 29 and has a chance to hit 30 on Friday. Meanwhile, everything else about the 29-year-old's game has improved. After signing an eight-year, $68 million extension in October, Rangers' No. 1 center looked like he was worth every penny. He set new career highs on points (81) and assists (52) and became a better presenter to accompany his wicked right shot. He also posted his career-best faceoff percentage (52.01%) and best defensive season with a better GA/60 (2.2), xGA/60 (2.44), and SA/60 (28.43) than either last year with the Rangers. His strong 200ft performance prompted Gallant to indicate that he believes Zibanejad deserves Selke Trophy consideration and while that may be a stretch, there's no denying his positive influence in all facets of the game. While Rangers' most explosive playmaker scored points with his typically impressive speed in the early months of the season, he didn't produce quite as many "wow" moments - the way he uses his unique talent to make something out of nothing. Then there was a shift, with Panarin taking over his position as Rangers' top player for the last month or two. He later admitted he spent the early part of the season sticking to the simple principles of Gallant's system, which meant playing straight and cutting back on risky decisions that can lead to turnovers. But eventually the 30-year-old winger concluded, "When you're trying to play 100% risk-free, it's hard to score." Controlling the puck over long distances and moving freely across the ice , may not work for most players, but that's what makes Panarin so special. The result was a career-high 96 points, with 62 in a 40-game span from mid-January through late April. His 74 assists broke the franchise record for most forwards in a single season and underscored his brilliant passing, vision and creativity. No player on the team is able to drive offense like No. 10. I could make good arguments for Panarina and Zibanejad, but in the end I felt the choice had to be chalky. The longest-serving Ranger has always been a key player for Rangers, but he was a breakthrough star in his 30-year-old season. He became the fourth player in team history to score 50 goals in a season and has previously scored 52 goals in a game. Kreider leads the league with 26 power play goals and displays surgical precision with his tips and detours. No player in the NHL is as adept at working around the net, which through constant repetition has become the No. 20 bread-and-butter. But while goals alone should get him talking about becoming No. 2, his impact goes much deeper. Kreider has dealt with disagreements in previous seasons, but he was visible even on the rare nights he scored. In his new role as a penalty killer, he also clocked over 114 minutes and became Gallant's ideal striker in all situations. He's the closest thing the Rangers have to a captain. His impact on this young squad is difficult to measure but Kreider's immense value to the team has been more evident this season than ever. Gallant himself has dubbed the 26-year-old keeper the team's "MVP" multiple times this season - and with very good reason. Shesterkin's .935 save percentage is .008 higher than the second-highest qualified goaltender this season, and if he holds, it would represent the best SV% by a keeper to have played at least 25 games since Brian Elliott 2011-12 and the seventh-highest all-time . The advanced numbers paint a similarly rosy picture, with his goals kept above average (42.32) and goals kept above expectation (37.24) by far the best in the NHL this season, according to Evolving Hockey. As good as those numbers are, those who've watched Rangers all season know there's more to it. Shesterkin carried the team despite constant pressure in the early months of the season, as they missed shots and created chances at some of the worst odds in the league. He stole wins from the blueshirts while they were still gaining ground under Gallant, giving them the scope and confidence to maintain a strong record and eventually transform into a more balanced team. Without Shesterkin, Rangers' playoff drought could continue. Mercogliano is the New York Rangers' beat reporter for the USA TODAY Network.

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Rangers' remarkable run in the Europa League may ease the pain of Celtic's domestic revival

Van Bronckhorst men are likely to cede the title to their Old Firm rivals, but this freewheeling progression to the last four will be long remembered, writes Daniel Storey (Author: Gardener)

the Europa LeagueIt says everything about the financial decline of Scottish football and the modern rise of Red Bull's ownership model that Rangers' record signing Tore Andre Flo joined Ibrox nine years before RB Leipzig was formed. European football's new dealer, Leipzig, spent £97million on transfer fees last summer, about the same as Rangers have spent since 2006. Rangers can reach that total over the past 20 seasons combined. Rangers were almost in a state of emergency when Steven Gerrard moved to the Premier League. Giovanni van Bronckhorst, unemployed since leaving Guangzhou R&F, was a left fielder but a familiar face. Gerrard left a four-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership after winning the title by 25 points in 2020-21 and establishing the first Invincibles season in Rangers history. Van Bronckhorst has lost two league games, both against Celtic. The Scottish Cup win over the same opponents helped ease the domestic pressure but they head into the final Old Firm game of the season this weekend knowing that even a win at Celtic Park is unlikely to be enough to catch Celtic . Instead, it's the two games spanning the weekend that are Rangers' biggest season. If the jury continues to rule out Van Bronckhorst domestically, he has built something truly remarkable in Europe. Rangers are three games away from their second continental trophy and their first in exactly half a century. Under Gerrard, Rangers lost to Malmö in their first qualifying round of Champions League action in the autumn, losing both home and away. They beat Armenia's Alashkert in a Europa League playoff, then lost their first two group games to Lyon and Sparta Prague. But under Van Bronckhorst, Rangers have become the free-scoring, free-running underdog diamonds of the Europa League. They culminated with four goals in 18 minutes against Borussia Dortmund at the Westfalenstadion, arguably Rangers' best individual result since Rangers won 3-0 in France in October 2007 (and some put it a 2-1 win at the Elland Road back in November 1992). ). The links to 2007/08 – when Rangers reached the UEFA Cup final – are obvious. They then also finished second in the league, despite only losing twice between November and late April, both to Celtic. Then in January they sold a marquee full-back to the Premier League (then Alan Hutton, now Nathan Patterson). Then they extended their dream with victories against Bundesliga clubs (now Dortmund, then Werder Bremen) and victories in the second leg of the quarterfinals against Portuguese opponents (then Sporting, now Braga). Right-back James Tavernier, the king of penalties, is their top scorer in Europe this season. Rangers are the clear second favorite against RB Leipzig for good reason. Atalanta and Real Sociedad were brushed aside in Europe while Leipzig won twice away in the Bundesliga 6-1. They also have their own statement win at Dortmund, 4-1 earlier in the month. Old Firm seasons are viewed so vehemently through the prism of a homegrown opponent that anything that broadens the horizon must be appreciated. As with West Ham's elimination against Sevilla, the win at the Westfalenstadion allowed an unpopular European challenger a newfound freedom to attack the final rounds of a competition that can unfold on its own. Rangers cannot compete with Leipzig in terms of quality, budget or global scouting network. You haven't been watching Van Bronckhorst's team in Europe this season.

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The tactics of Ange Postecoglou and Giovanni van Bronckhorst before the Old Firm showdown

past games analyzed; average formations, attack threats, pressing, passing, strengths and weaknesses, player form analyzed; Watch Celtic vs Rangers live on Sky Sports Football on Sunday from 11am; Kick-off 12 p.m (Author: Gardener)

Ange PostecoglouCeltic host Rangers live on Sky Sports this Sunday - but how do the teams' current style and form compare ahead of the blockbuster clash? Both teams have played 34 games and six points separate the titans of Scottish football. However, three points for Ange Postecoglou's side this weekend would put Celtic nine points clear with just three games to go. So what are the styles, strengths and weaknesses of the teams and where could the game be won or lost? Steven Gerrard led Rangers to their first league title in 10 years last season, ending Celtic's nine-year streak of dominance - which spanned a period after the Gers were relegated in 2012 and climbed back up the ranks before turning four years long later returned to the top flight. The interactive table below contains all the derbies since the beginning: a Glasgow Cup third round clash in October 1888 in which Celtic won 6-1. Overall, Celtic play higher on the pitch than Rangers. Postecoglou usually starts in a 4-3-3, pushing his wide midfielders close to the center forward, while the two wingers place far more emphasis on width and forward thrust. The average positions below show full-back James Tavernier pushing up the right flank while the wingers take reverse roles. Well, the stats show that league leaders Celtic lead in almost all attacking stats: goals, shots, shots on target, open game goals expected and assists. The Hoops' broader style has also topped the league with 28 goals from 1,010 crosses or corners this season - in addition to 16 shots from quick counterattacks. But the Gers are quite dangerous at set pieces, with Tavernier's notorious delivery often punishing opponents from dead-ball situations. Meanwhile, frontman Alfredo Morelos' immense header power has also helped his side score 15 header goals - just like their upcoming hosts. As far as goals go, the Rangers appear most dangerous in and around the six-yard box and in pockets just outside that area on the left and slightly further out on the right. Celtic are just as strong near the goal but convert a far greater proportion of goals around the penalty spot. One area of ​​notable interest would be Rangers' right channel - Celtic's left. Both teams typically attack most from these flanks, with Tavernier and Jota being the key drivers respectively. You can use the interactive table below to see which players are dominating the attack metrics. Morelos leads with 11 league goals, with a group of Celtic forwards just behind. In-form Celtic forwards Giorgos Giakoumakis and Kyogo have each scored nine goals in just 886 and 1,027 minutes of play respectively. When it comes to creation, no player comes close to Tavernier. The 30-year-old has had a top spot in the league with 12 assists and 100 chances created. For the hosts, Jota and right-back Anthony Ralston scored the most goals, but midfielder David Turnball created the most chances. Celtic winger Liel Abada is the enabler for quick breaks, while Rangers forward Fashion Sakala poses a significant threat if used. Further up the pitch, Tavernier often drives Rangers forward along the right channel, while Jota makes a similar advance for the hosts down the left. The current league leaders have an average starting age of just 25 years and 328 days - only Ross County has a younger team this season. As a result, while the current league status and future looks bright for Parkhead's side, Van Bronckhorst's men have far more experience. Celtic average about 650 passes per game. So it's no surprise that Postecoglou's side have averaged 70 per cent possession at the top of the league this season, while Rangers have been second with 64 per cent. The chart below shows frequent passing changes between positions and shows that Rangers' distribution is mostly in midfield, with notable exchanges between the defensive midfield hub and Tavernier. Celtic's more advanced style features consistent patterns across the pitch but greater concentrations between left-back and Jota. The visualization below provides further evidence of the average positions and passing networks, with Celtic Rangers matching or surpassing for passes in all advanced zones - most notably in central areas and along the left flank. Understandably, centre-backs dominate passing stats due to brief changes in build-up play, but Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara emerges as the Gers' passing engine in the middle of the park. It goes without saying that Postecoglou will be looking to quash Tavernier, who has made 401 passes into the opposition box this season - almost twice as many as any other player on the teams. While Celtic have more possession in the attacking third, the up-and-coming visitors are more likely to recapture the ball in more advanced areas. Player-wise, Rangers attacking midfielder Joe Aribo provides primary pressing up front, with Scott Arfield and Morelos also providing ample threats, while Tomas Rogic, Jota and Abada lead the way for Celtic. Meanwhile, Hoops captain Callum McGregor and Rangers with midfielder Kamara are the leading destroyers in the middle of the park. As division leaders it may come as no surprise that both teams have conceded the fewest goals, but Celtic have a league-low 19 goals compared to Rangers' 28 - while the Hoops are also clean sheets with 19. Despite that impressive solidity, however, there are potential weaknesses to be exploited, with Rangers' strength at set pieces arguably enhanced by the fact that 11 of Celtic's conceded goals this season have come from these dead-ball situations. Meanwhile, Rangers' aerial prowess could be rewarded against a side who have scored nine headed goals - only Ross County and Hibernian have leaked more - while no team in the division has conceded more goals from crosses. On paper, Rangers are unlikely to capitalize on an error, with the hosts making just two errors that result in a shot this season. The chart below shows all of the defensive actions of each team's defenders this season and shows that Rangers centre-backs typically patrol deeper areas than their upcoming counterparts, with full-backs being heavily active in central areas along the flanks - while Tavernier contributes further up the line . to. Celtic centre-backs continue to venture forward, reflecting the team's style of play - but there is a lack of defensive coverage between the centre-backs, suggesting a potential corridor of opportunities for the visitors. Interestingly, despite Tavernier's tendency to streak into attacking zones on the right flank, opposing teams typically attacked Rangers on the opposing flank, with 43 percent coming down the Rangers' left channel. Coincidentally, but more understandably, almost the same proportions apply to Celtic - with teams looking to exploit their more adventurous left channel. While the stats may speak for Celtic's place at the top of the table, Rangers have certainly resisted in the face of adversity, winning a league-high 21 points from lost positions this season. Meanwhile, both teams have shown great resilience after scoring in a game, with Rangers dropping 13 points and Celtic dropping two points to a league low. Rangers can certainly come from behind from those numbers, but Celtic are masters at staying ahead. Using the Power Rankings formula, which awards players points for 35 different stats - from goals and assists to blocks and tackles - Celtic striker Jota is currently the most in-form player among teams based on three goal involvements in the last five league games in his last four league games. Based on the entire season so far, there is only one winner: Tavernier. The full-back has scored almost 15,000 more points than any other player on the teams, with teammate Aribo taking second place ahead of Carter-Vickers. Use the team picks below and share your picks on Twitter @ScotlandSky. If Alfredo Morelos is out for the rest of the season and Kemar Roofe is also injured, who will start up front? Jon McLaughlin impressed in Rangers' Scottish Cup semi-final win, but Allan McGregor thrives on the big occasions and none is bigger than him! Use the team picks below and share your picks on Twitter @ScotlandSky.

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Rangers crushed by stunning late Leipzig strike

Rangers need to come from behind if they want to reach their first European final in 14 years after a determined performance was nullified by a late RB Leipzig strike in the Europa League semi-final first leg. (Author: Gardener)

LeipzigRangers will need to come from behind if they want to reach their first European final in 14 years after a determined performance was thwarted by a late RB Leipzig strike in the Europa League semi-final first leg. Ryan Kent missed a rare chance for Rangers but Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side must hope the tie at Ibrox can be salvaged. Their performance in Germany was long composed, with a vociferous home crowd made all the more frustrated as time elapsed before a goal that lit up an otherwise tense tie. But it will be the Rangers hoping to call in a rough Ibrox next Thursday when a dramatic night begins in Govan. At the stunning Red Bull Arena, it took a moment of sheer brilliance in the 85th minute to deny Rangers another credible European clean sheet to add them to the list. As Fashion Sakala's header headed for Angelino on the edge of the box, the Spaniard didn't stop his stride to hit the ball perfectly. Silence replaced the noise in the ground before it was reignited as his arrow shot past Allan McGregor and into the far corner. It was hard to take given the Rangers' composure and improved performance after the break, but in the opening period the flow of traffic onto their goal was as relentless as the chanting, chanting and roaring from that cauldron of noise. Star man Christopher Nkunku was the first to feel frustrated when Calvin Bassey's block denied him after a Borna Barisic lapse. Around 7,000 Rangers fans pretty much had little to shout about the whole time in the first half, but they tried anyway. With Joe Aribo now playing through the middle, a quick break was led by the scurrying Kent. Lukas Klostermann was staggered by jink and duke after jink, allowing the Englishman to fire the ball over the goal. The Rangers fans in the far corner gasped as it went just wide of the far post. The game finally threatened to crackle and spark into the encounter that the place, the audience and the occasion deserved. Nkunku rammed a right foot on target which McGregor managed well as the unsettled hosts responded immediately. The gifted Frenchman, who has scored 30 goals this season, snuck past John Lundstram and went around McGregor but with a goal wide open he shot off balance, high and wide. As the seconds ticked by, the intense pressure mounted on the Rangers defense and Angelino's class moment brought chaos to the Red Bull Arena. Rangers in Europe can sometimes be a joy to watch. There has rarely been a dull moment in their 17 games, but their mission to nullify and frustrate a smart Bundesliga side who are aiming for their first major trophy has worked almost perfectly. It took a goal worthy of the opportunity to thwart that plan. That will give so much confidence that this tie can be salvaged even though Leipzig have an excellent away record. Wright struggled at the apex of attack in the first half, while Aribo looked much more comfortable there after the break. RB Leipzig head coach Domenico Tedesco on BT Sport: "It was a tough game. Normally Rangers aren't that deep, they were compact and it was quite difficult to play against opponents like that.” In the second half we had three or four good chances and the most difficult one we get. There is a bit of luck involved; we know [Angelino] would shoot 10 times there and probably score twice. "Now Rangers need to get out more - maybe not from the start - and if there's more places then we're better." Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst on BT Sport: “We were well organised. I think in the first half we were more careful that they couldn't score. We weren't as sure of the ball as we were in the second half.” It's always so disappointing when you lose a goal so late in the game. But the players played really well and next week we're home and Ibrox will give us the energy we need. “We need to attack them with more bodies at the right moments. * RB Leipzig have won Europa League knockout games for the first time in a row and are unbeaten in the last five such games in the competition – their all-time best streak. * Rangers have lost three consecutive away games in European competition for the first time since October 2019. They last had a similar run in a single season in 2000/01 (in the Champions League and UEFA Cup).* RB Leipzig have kept a straight clean sheet in European competition for only the second time, most recently in March 2020 in beating Tottenham home and away in the Champions League * Rangers have won just two of their last 25 European away games against German opponents (D9/14). 29.7% possession, the lowest they've ever had in a Europa League game * Angelino scored his first Europa League goal (in his fifth appearance) and his first in European competition since netting against Manchester United in the Champions League in December 2020. Rangers' big games keep coming. Van Bronckhorst's side head to Celtic Park for the last old firm game of the season on Sunday (12:00 CET) before Leipzig travel to Glasgow on Thursday (20:00 CET) for a historic final of the Europa reach league.

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The tactics of Ange Postecoglou and Giovanni van Bronckhorst before the Old Firm showdown

past games analyzed; average formations, attack threats, pressing, passing, strengths and weaknesses, player form analyzed; Watch Celtic vs Rangers live on Sky Sports Football on Sunday from 11am; Kick-off 12 p.m (Author: Gardener)

Ange PostecoglouCeltic host Rangers live on Sky Sports this Sunday - but how do the teams' current style and form compare ahead of the blockbuster clash? Both teams have played 34 games and six points separate the titans of Scottish football. However, three points for Ange Postecoglou's side this weekend would put Celtic nine points clear with just three games to go. So what are the styles, strengths and weaknesses of the teams and where could the game be won or lost? Steven Gerrard led Rangers to their first league title in 10 years last season, ending Celtic's nine-year streak of dominance - which spanned a period after the Gers were relegated in 2012 and climbed back up the ranks before turning four years long later returned to the top flight. The interactive table below contains all the derbies since the beginning: a Glasgow Cup third round clash in October 1888 in which Celtic won 6-1. Overall, Celtic play higher on the pitch than Rangers. Postecoglou usually starts in a 4-3-3, pushing his wide midfielders close to the center forward, while the two wingers place far more emphasis on width and forward thrust. The average positions below show full-back James Tavernier pushing up the right flank while the wingers take reverse roles. Well, the stats show that league leaders Celtic lead in almost all attacking stats: goals, shots, shots on target, open game goals expected and assists. The Hoops' broader style has also topped the league with 28 goals from 1,010 crosses or corners this season - in addition to 16 shots from quick counterattacks. But the Gers are quite dangerous at set pieces, with Tavernier's notorious delivery often punishing opponents from dead-ball situations. Meanwhile, frontman Alfredo Morelos' immense header power has also helped his side score 15 header goals - just like their upcoming hosts. As far as goals go, the Rangers appear most dangerous in and around the six-yard box and in pockets just outside that area on the left and slightly further out on the right. Celtic are just as strong near the goal but convert a far greater proportion of goals around the penalty spot. One area of ​​notable interest would be Rangers' right channel - Celtic's left. Both teams typically attack most from these flanks, with Tavernier and Jota being the key drivers respectively. You can use the interactive table below to see which players are dominating the attack metrics. Morelos leads with 11 league goals, with a group of Celtic forwards just behind. In-form Celtic forwards Giorgos Giakoumakis and Kyogo have each scored nine goals in just 886 and 1,027 minutes of play respectively. When it comes to creation, no player comes close to Tavernier. The 30-year-old has had a top spot in the league with 12 assists and 100 chances created. For the hosts, Jota and right-back Anthony Ralston scored the most goals, but midfielder David Turnball created the most chances. Celtic winger Liel Abada is the enabler for quick breaks, while Rangers forward Fashion Sakala poses a significant threat if used. Further up the pitch, Tavernier often drives Rangers forward along the right channel, while Jota makes a similar advance for the hosts down the left. The current league leaders have an average starting age of just 25 years and 328 days - only Ross County has a younger team this season. As a result, while the current league status and future looks bright for Parkhead's side, Van Bronckhorst's men have far more experience. Celtic average about 650 passes per game. So it's no surprise that Postecoglou's side have averaged 70 per cent possession at the top of the league this season, while Rangers have been second with 64 per cent. The chart below shows frequent passing changes between positions and shows that Rangers' distribution is mostly in midfield, with notable exchanges between the defensive midfield hub and Tavernier. Celtic's more advanced style features consistent patterns across the pitch but greater concentrations between left-back and Jota. The visualization below provides further evidence of the average positions and passing networks, with Celtic Rangers matching or surpassing for passes in all advanced zones - most notably in central areas and along the left flank. Understandably, centre-backs dominate passing stats due to brief changes in build-up play, but Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara emerges as the Gers' passing engine in the middle of the park. It goes without saying that Postecoglou will be looking to quash Tavernier, who has made 401 passes into the opposition box this season - almost twice as many as any other player on the teams. While Celtic have more possession in the attacking third, the up-and-coming visitors are more likely to recapture the ball in more advanced areas. Player-wise, Rangers attacking midfielder Joe Aribo provides primary pressing up front, with Scott Arfield and Morelos also providing ample threats, while Tomas Rogic, Jota and Abada lead the way for Celtic. Meanwhile, Hoops captain Callum McGregor and Rangers with midfielder Kamara are the leading destroyers in the middle of the park. As division leaders it may come as no surprise that both teams have conceded the fewest goals, but Celtic have a league-low 19 goals compared to Rangers' 28 - while the Hoops are also clean sheets with 19. Despite that impressive solidity, however, there are potential weaknesses to be exploited, with Rangers' strength at set pieces arguably enhanced by the fact that 11 of Celtic's conceded goals this season have come from these dead-ball situations. Meanwhile, Rangers' aerial prowess could be rewarded against a side who have scored nine headed goals - only Ross County and Hibernian have leaked more - while no team in the division has conceded more goals from crosses. On paper, Rangers are unlikely to capitalize on an error, with the hosts making just two errors that result in a shot this season. The chart below shows all of the defensive actions of each team's defenders this season and shows that Rangers centre-backs typically patrol deeper areas than their upcoming counterparts, with full-backs being heavily active in central areas along the flanks - while Tavernier contributes further up the line . to. Celtic centre-backs continue to venture forward, reflecting the team's style of play - but there is a lack of defensive coverage between the centre-backs, suggesting a potential corridor of opportunities for the visitors. Interestingly, despite Tavernier's tendency to streak into attacking zones on the right flank, opposing teams typically attacked Rangers on the opposing flank, with 43 percent coming down the Rangers' left channel. Coincidentally, but more understandably, almost the same proportions apply to Celtic - with teams looking to exploit their more adventurous left channel. While the stats may speak for Celtic's place at the top of the table, Rangers have certainly resisted in the face of adversity, winning a league-high 21 points from lost positions this season. Meanwhile, both teams have shown great resilience after scoring in a game, with Rangers dropping 13 points and Celtic dropping two points to a league low. Rangers can certainly come from behind from those numbers, but Celtic are masters at staying ahead. Using the Power Rankings formula, which awards players points for 35 different stats - from goals and assists to blocks and tackles - Celtic striker Jota is currently the most in-form player among teams based on three goal involvements in the last five league games in his last four league games. Based on the entire season so far, there is only one winner: Tavernier. The full-back has scored almost 15,000 more points than any other player on the teams, with teammate Aribo taking second place ahead of Carter-Vickers. Use the team picks below and share your picks on Twitter @ScotlandSky. If Alfredo Morelos is out for the rest of the season and Kemar Roofe is also injured, who will start up front? Jon McLaughlin impressed in Rangers' Scottish Cup semi-final win, but Allan McGregor thrives on the big occasions and none is bigger than him! Use the team picks below and share your picks on Twitter @ScotlandSky.

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Rangers crushed by stunning late Leipzig strike

Rangers need to come from behind if they want to reach their first European final in 14 years after a determined performance was nullified by a late RB Leipzig strike in the Europa League semi-final first leg. (Author: Gardener)

LeipzigRangers will need to come from behind if they want to reach their first European final in 14 years after a determined performance was thwarted by a late RB Leipzig strike in the Europa League semi-final first leg. Ryan Kent missed a rare chance for Rangers but Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side must hope the tie at Ibrox can be salvaged. Their performance in Germany was long composed, with a vociferous home crowd made all the more frustrated as time elapsed before a goal that lit up an otherwise tense tie. But it will be the Rangers hoping to call in a rough Ibrox next Thursday when a dramatic night begins in Govan. At the stunning Red Bull Arena, it took a moment of sheer brilliance in the 85th minute to deny Rangers another credible European clean sheet to add them to the list. As Fashion Sakala's header headed for Angelino on the edge of the box, the Spaniard didn't stop his stride to hit the ball perfectly. Silence replaced the noise in the ground before it was reignited as his arrow shot past Allan McGregor and into the far corner. It was hard to take given the Rangers' composure and improved performance after the break, but in the opening period the flow of traffic onto their goal was as relentless as the chanting, chanting and roaring from that cauldron of noise. Star man Christopher Nkunku was the first to feel frustrated when Calvin Bassey's block denied him after a Borna Barisic lapse. Around 7,000 Rangers fans pretty much had little to shout about the whole time in the first half, but they tried anyway. With Joe Aribo now playing through the middle, a quick break was led by the scurrying Kent. Lukas Klostermann was staggered by jink and duke after jink, allowing the Englishman to fire the ball over the goal. The Rangers fans in the far corner gasped as it went just wide of the far post. The game finally threatened to crackle and spark into the encounter that the place, the audience and the occasion deserved. Nkunku rammed a right foot on target which McGregor managed well as the unsettled hosts responded immediately. The gifted Frenchman, who has scored 30 goals this season, snuck past John Lundstram and went around McGregor but with a goal wide open he shot off balance, high and wide. As the seconds ticked by, the intense pressure mounted on the Rangers defense and Angelino's class moment brought chaos to the Red Bull Arena. Rangers in Europe can sometimes be a joy to watch. There has rarely been a dull moment in their 17 games, but their mission to nullify and frustrate a smart Bundesliga side who are aiming for their first major trophy has worked almost perfectly. It took a goal worthy of the opportunity to thwart that plan. That will give so much confidence that this tie can be salvaged even though Leipzig have an excellent away record. Wright struggled at the apex of attack in the first half, while Aribo looked much more comfortable there after the break. RB Leipzig head coach Domenico Tedesco on BT Sport: "It was a tough game. Normally Rangers aren't that deep, they were compact and it was quite difficult to play against opponents like that.” In the second half we had three or four good chances and the most difficult one we get. There is a bit of luck involved; we know [Angelino] would shoot 10 times there and probably score twice. "Now Rangers need to get out more - maybe not from the start - and if there's more places then we're better." Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst on BT Sport: “We were well organised. I think in the first half we were more careful that they couldn't score. We weren't as sure of the ball as we were in the second half.” It's always so disappointing when you lose a goal so late in the game. But the players played really well and next week we're home and Ibrox will give us the energy we need. “We need to attack them with more bodies at the right moments. * RB Leipzig have won Europa League knockout games for the first time in a row and are unbeaten in the last five such games in the competition – their all-time best streak. * Rangers have lost three consecutive away games in European competition for the first time since October 2019. They last had a similar run in a single season in 2000/01 (in the Champions League and UEFA Cup).* RB Leipzig have kept a straight clean sheet in European competition for only the second time, most recently in March 2020 in beating Tottenham home and away in the Champions League * Rangers have won just two of their last 25 European away games against German opponents (D9/14). 29.7% possession, the lowest they've ever had in a Europa League game * Angelino scored his first Europa League goal (in his fifth appearance) and his first in European competition since netting against Manchester United in the Champions League in December 2020. Rangers' big games keep coming. Van Bronckhorst's side head to Celtic Park for the last old firm game of the season on Sunday (12:00 CET) before Leipzig travel to Glasgow on Thursday (20:00 CET) for a historic final of the Europa reach league.

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Despite the terrible defeat against RB Leipzig, Rangers can dream of the Europa League final

IBROX is waiting. In 90 minutes, the Europa League final could be for the Rangers. (Author: Gardener)

the Europa LeagueIn 90 minutes, the Europa League final could be for the Rangers. Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side are down, but they're definitely not out after that high-stakes first leg in Leipzig. The result was not unexpected, but not deserved either. Rangers might have limited the damage but that night they could have won and found a foothold in Seville. A late Angelino strike was cruel for the champions but Van Bronckhorst and the support that followed them into the Red Bull Arena can be proud of their efforts. Rangers fans had made themselves comfortable in Leipzig since the beginning of the week. Banners were draped by buildings and every excursion through the center was accompanied by songs and chants in the background, while Van Bronckhorst and his players were also serenaded at their team hotel. About half an hour after kick-off, the PA operator was in a hospitable mood. Before German rock ballads were cranked up and scarves twirled, a take on the Blue Sea of ​​Ibrox was surprisingly aired. The dedicated away area on the other side of this impressive, imposing arena was steadily growing in number and rising in decibel levels. There were pockets of Rangers fans all over the pitch, once again giving great support to Van Bronckhorst's side. Once you get to that stage you should enjoy and respect the competition and rivalry rather than fear them and Rangers had proven in previous games that they more than belong at this level. There will have been some in the away game who can still remember the 1961 and 1967 semi-finals, who still have the memories and memories of Barcelona. Throughout the season there were moments when they didn't feel as confident or as comfortable as in previous seasons, but Van Bronckhorst found a way to get the results. The back five, which saw John Lundstram drop a line lower to his partners Connor Goldson and Calvin Bassey, was a Rangers statement. For much of the first half, the blueprint worked perfectly. There were periods when Leipzig looked menacing but a side put together at such a price and in such good form would always dominate the ball and try to prove their class in front of their home crowd. Rangers only had about a quarter of possession in the first 45 minutes. A mistake by Borna Barisic was not punished by Christopher Nkunku as Bassey made a brilliant block. A few minutes later, Goldson led Konrad Laimer wide and stopped his intervention perfectly. Van Bronckhorst's tactics and selection were understandable and predictable. The end always justified the means when a result was achieved. However, he would have liked to see more ball quality when Rangers were ahead and the champions struggled to establish themselves as an attacking presence in the first half. Favored over Fashion Sakala, the front duo of Ryan Kent and Scott Wright simply didn't have the wherewithal to keep the ball up and worried Leipzig. As a result, the respite from the RB pressure was brief and keeper Peter Gulacsi was rarely involved. A free-kick from James Tavernier fizzled out, Goldson nodded over a Barisic corner. After kick-off, Rangers could be pleased with their efforts. It wasn't pretty but it was effective and a fall from so far so good as half time ended on the score. In the opening minutes of game two, Rangers should have reaped the rewards of a tactical switch, with Kent and Wright staying on and Joe Aribo pushing forward. Finally, Rangers looked like they could score. A driven low cross from Kent was inches from the bottom corner and agonizingly out of Tavernier's reach. The captain saw a shot blocked at the angle and Goldson headed over from the resulting corner as the home fans began to express their frustration. The hour mark had soon come and gone. Rangers continued to gain momentum and Leipzig looked unimaginative as Van Bronckhorst made their first move, with Sakala replacing Wright. Just minutes later, Rangers had their biggest draw yet when Nkunku distorted a shot high and wide off target when he seemed sure to hit. The hard work was done as he drove around behind and around McGregor but it was a terrible finish from a striker who has netted 17 times in the Bundesliga this season. Nkunku headed wide minutes later and McGregor saved from Tyler Adams. From the corner that followed, Angelino Leipzig conjured up the lead with a brilliant long-range shot. It's been tough for Rangers, but those are the margins at this level. There was enough positives here for Rangers to have the faith and spirit that they can overcome the result and the odds to secure their place in the finals. It's going to end up being a night at the Ibrox. The rangers need not fear their enemy as they continue to fly the flag of Scotland.

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RB Leipzig vs. Rangers: TV channel, live stream, team news & preview

RB Leipzig meets Rangers in the Europa League – this is how you see it live, team news, betting odds (Author: Gardener)

RB LeipzigRB Leipzig host Rangers in the Europa League semi-final first leg on Thursday. The German side look to recover from their disappointing home defeat by Union Berlin at the weekend, while the visitors win four games ahead of the trip to Leipzig. Before the game, GOAL brings you everything you need to know including how to watch, team news, odds and more. BT Sport 2 shows RB Leipzig v Rangers live on TV in the United Kingdom (UK) and the game can also be streamed live online using the BT Sport app. RB Leipzig are favorites with Sportsbet.io beating Rangers 5/12. With 13/2 to win, Rangers are the underdogs. RB Leipzig have scored in each of their last seven games, while Rangers are on a good run themselves, so assisting both teams to score at 24/25 could be worth a try. Willi Orban, Kevin Jampl and Mohamed Simakan are all suspended for the home side. Rangers will be without several players for this game, with Kemar Roofe, Ianis Hagi, Filip Helander and Alfredo Morelos absent. Rangers still have a slim chance of winning the domestic title as they are six points behind Celtic, although that is very unlikely at this stage. However, they could still win the double as they have reached the Scottish Cup final. A positive result in Leipzig will be crucial to keep that dream alive and they have momentum after winning four games in a row. However, RB Leipzig are looking strong despite the excitement against Union Berlin at the weekend. Sportsbet.io is the world's #1 crypto sports betting company. All the biggest leagues and tournaments are available at some of the most competitive odds on the market. Sign up at Sportsbet.io to enjoy pre-match and in-play betting, hundreds of markets and a range of features from Cash Out to ACCA Boost where you get up to 50% extra on your accumulator bets be able!

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