European commentator and journalist Kevin Hatchard has tipped Rangers to power past Slavia Prague in the Europa League round of 16 after the teams were drawn on Friday.
Steven Gerrard’s side could have come up against European heavyweights AC Milan or English trio Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, but they avoided the quartet and will instead face Czech Republic outfit Slavia Prague.
Slavia were perhaps the surprise package of the round of 32 as they outclassed Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City side 2-0 at the King Power Stadium on Thursday.
They also beat the team who knocked the Gers out of the competition last season, Bayer Leverkusen, 1-0 in the group stages earlier in the campaign.
But talkSPORT journalist Hatchard believes that while they pose a threat to the Rangers defence, they are vulnerable when being pressed.
Appearing on the White & Jordan Show [1pm, 26/02/21] he said: “They [Rangers] will play on the front-foot and I think that will suit them against Slavia Prague because Slavia have some great attacking players as we saw against Leicester last night [Thursday 25 Feb].
“So if you try and dig in against them and try to keep things tight, they’ve got players who can change the game.
“But I think if you go at this Slavia team then you have a real chance to overpower them over two legs.”
Expect goals in this one
Thursday night proved Slavia are no mugs and they possess a real threat going forwards.
One man in particular that the Gers will have to keep an eye on is Abdallah Sima who scored the crucial second goal against Leicester to clinch the tie.
He has scored 15 goals in 22 appearances across the Czech First League and the Europa League and his latest effort was a sumptuous finish past Kasper Schmeichel in the Foxes net.
The 19-year-old will fancy his chances against the Light Blues are we shipped five to Royal Antwerp across the tie but as we showed against our Belgian counterparts, if they score five we’ll go and score nine.
Conceding that amount of goals is not ideal and our Premiership record this season [only nine goals conceded] shows we do possess the defensive capabilities to withhold attacks.
However European ties can be unpredictable and it is good to know we can keep on swinging even when teams are going for our throats.
In other Rangers news, Celtic-mad pundit says Gers can win the Europa League.