Brian Laudrup reckons Rangers can exploit Jason Denayer weaknesses against Lyon
Rangers and Lyon begin their Europa League group campaign at Ibrox on Thursday and Brian Laudrup believes the hosts have a chance.
On paper, the French side are favourites given the calibre of players available to manager Peter Bosz and the Bears have to be on top of their game to have a chance of winning.
Laudrup reckons Rangers could target Lyon on the counterattack, pointing at Jason Denayer’s lack of full concentration as a weakness they could exploit.
The Gers legend wrote in his Scottish Daily Mail column: “They have all been very good going forward, but the critics would say he hasn’t really won anything so far in his career and that his teams can be vulnerable to counter-attacking.
“Jason Denayer, another former Celtic, is a big part of their defence and also scored at the weekend.
“He is a very good player, don’t get me wrong here, but I do think there are occasions when he gets drawn out of position and can be guilty of a little bit of ball-watching.
“If Rangers can get their movement right they will cause Lyon problems for sure. Obviously, though, Gerrard’s side will have to dig extremely deep at the opposite end.
“It will be a difficult night for sure. All the players need to be together. They have to stick their chests out and say: ‘We are Rangers. We’ve played some top teams in recent seasons and achieved some great results’.”
Lyon have found the back of the net eight times in the Ligue 1 this season, but they have also conceded the same number of goals, and that means they are not particularly impressive defensively.
Rangers may struggle at the back too with Connor Goldson and Filip Helander both huge doubts for the clash, but their attackers could have a field day against the visitors.
While the trio of Kemar Roofe, Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent are likely to start up-front for Steven Gerrard’s side, the pace of Fashion Sakala could make him a good choice off the bench if he is not included in the starting XI.
The Zambian attacker proved too much to handle for Real Madrid during the pre-season friendly due to his electric speed, and it is a skill set that could come in handy against an attacking team like Lyon.
They will always leave a lot of spaces behind for someone like Sakala to exploit, and he could be a key player for the Bears.
They may not be favourites, but the Scottish giants have everything it takes to hurt the visitors, and they need to make the most of their chances if they want to pick up at least a point.
In other Rangers news, Bears handed boost as PL club makes transfer decision ahead of January transfer window.