Ever been kicked in the balls? That’s what Young Boys injury time winner in Bern felt like. Only the pain from a boot in the chuckies would have disappeared a lot quicker than the gut wrenching, pit of the stomach feeling that I, and other bears had following Fassnacht’s 93rd minute winner.
However this isn’t a time for “what ifs” and we don’t know how we would have got on in future games had we not lost the late goal, so there’s no reason to worry about it now.
This is the last game of the group stage and all 4 teams in the group could still qualify for the Round of 32.
The various scenarios are:
1. We win – we win the group, and I believe it would be the first ever European group in Europe that we’ve topped, which would be a fantastic achievement, particularly as we were bottom seeds.
2. We draw – we qualify for the next round. If Porto beat Feyenoord then we’re second in the group, but any other result means we’re top.
3. We lose – we qualify for the next round if Porto fail to beat Feyenoord, but if Porto win then we’re out.
Tactically, Young Boys will likely line up in their normal narrow 4-4-2, with their full backs Janko and Garcia providing the width and a diamond shape in the midfield. Nsame and Assale continue to provide the threat up front with Fassnacht also offering a goal scoring menace from midfield, with all 3 of them having scored twice in the group stages.
Due to the diamond shape, Young Boys tend to play the ball forward rather than to the sides. If we can push back their full backs, perhaps by overloading the wings with our own full back and wide player then we may stifle some of their play. They need a win as a draw may not be good enough so they will likely be adopting an attacking approach to the game.
Young Boys appear to have some defensive issues. In their previous 4 games before their 1-0 win at the weekend, they’d lost 3 goals in each of their 3 domestic games and 2 goals at home to Porto. They do however remain top of the Swiss Super League by a point.
It looks like Davis may still be missing and Helander may be a doubt. Katic would step in for Helander and is a more than adequate replacement. I think that he will stick with the same midfield as Sunday with realistically only the right-sided attacker place being up for grabs. Will he stick with Aribo or go for Ojo’s pace, or perhaps even reinstate Barker? I think that he may surprise us and pick Ojo to try and limit Garcia’s attacking threat.
Their centre-half, Sorensen, struggled against Morelos in the first game, so hopefully we will create a lot of chances from wide areas with the full backs overlapping, with our midfielders providing cover, and our wide players cutting in and pulling their full backs out of position. We have the set-up to cause them some tactical problems.
Let’s do it, Rangers! You owe us after Sunday and this would be a huge pick-me-up for the club. I value my crown jewels too much for us to get anything other than at least a draw, to allow us to still be in Europe after Christmas, a scenario that would have seemed impossible 18 months ago.
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