Gerrard looks for knockout blow Vs Fatih Terim
It is a sad situation, that we preview a winner takes all European night at Ibrox Stadium which would undoubtedly have an incredible atmosphere, pulling the team forward and increasing the intensity of the encounter that may see them qualify for the Europa League group stage. Galatasaray are the visitors and come with more pedigree in European competitions in recent years, being a staple fixture in the Champions League group stage, but a sixth-place finish in the Super Lig has seen their expectations dip slightly. Rangers have started the Scottish Premiership like a jet, they are narrow favourites to progress here.
Early season form
Steven Gerrard’s Gers are looking like they will sustain a much stronger title push this season in Celtic’s bid for a tenth consecutive crown, they are unbeaten with seven wins and two draws. Although that would still place them second if Neil Lennon’s men win their game in hand, it could be an intriguing race as the season develops. Gala are also yet to taste defeat in 2020/21, taking seven points from their opening three. With a settled unit and plenty of flair in attacking areas, the Gers should come out victorious.
Ones to watch
The two outstanding talents for Rangers are Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos. The latter who has been subject to interest from all across the top leagues in Europe but remains the main man at Ibrox with buyers not satisfying the club’s valuation. After hitting 29 last term Morelos is five from nine this time around and the absence of European football would see him leave in my eyes, so there is more riding on this matchup than just reaching the group stage. Coupled with the pace and determination of Kent off the flank, they can be deadly and will pick holes in the Gala backline, if they are clinical Rangers should not have any problems on Thursday evening.
Radamel Falcao is the star among the ranks at Galatasaray but at 34 his talent is fading, and the budding partnership of Connor Goldson and Filip Helander should neutralise the threat he poses.
Emre Kilinc is the marquee signing, coming in from last season’s surprise fourth place finishers Sivasspor. A consistent performer who can play off either wing but has been deployed as a number 10 this term under Fatih Terim. He is joined in attacking midfield by former West Ham United flop Sofiane Feghouli who has found a new home in the Super Lig and had a productive 2019/20 despite the club’s disappointing campaign.
Galatasaray will not go down easily, but on form and personnel the Gers should get over the line.