By Nick Ware

16th Mar, 2021 | 1:40pm

Brian Laudrup says Kent and Aribo can unlock stubborn Slavia

Brian Laudrup has called on Rangers duo Ryan Kent and Joe Aribo to step up and make themselves the magic men against Slavia Prague at Ibrox.

Steven Gerrard’s side go into Thursday’s clash with the slight advantage after registering an away goal in last week’s 1-1 draw in Prague and they know if they do not concede they will progress to the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

Sitting back and resting on their laurels would be a dangerous move, however, and former Gers hero Laudrup has issued a rallying cry to Kent and Aribo to take the game to the Czech outfit.

Speaking to the Daily Mail [via Daily Record] he said: “I felt that Rangers’ performance at the start of the first half last week was perhaps a little poor in terms of the quality we all know they possess.

“Slavia could have been 2-0 ahead when Stanciu had a chance to get his second of the night and Rangers were initially not aggressive enough.”

Laudrup added: “Leicester did not really trouble them at the King Power, but Rangers have players who can unsettle a very good unit, which the Czech side’s defence undoubtedly are.

“I’m looking at players such as Ryan Kent and Joe Aribo, people who can take opponents on and make things happen.”

Time for the dribbling duo to step up v Slavia

The Gers duo didn’t enjoy the best games of their season last Thursday though Kent was lively throughout.

According to Wyscout, only Alfredo Morelos [68%] lost more of his duels v Slavia than Aribo [35%] and Kent [38%].

The latter recorded his fewest completed passes of the season as a starter v Slavia [13] with a 68% pass accuracy way down on his 86.8% season average, while he was only successful with one of his four attempted dribbles [25%].

Aribo’s statistics were not much better with a 75% pass completion a sizeable downturn on his 86.4% average.

They have both been key in our title-winning Premiership season and they rank in the top five for dribbles per 90 [Kent – 7.88, Aribo – 6.85]

Gerrard needs more from his dribbling duo and we expect to see them grab the game by the scruff of the neck on Thursday.

In other Rangers news, Alan Hutton says James Tavernier must be on his guard next season.