Scott Nisbet: Rangers can win v Sparta Prague
Former Ibrox defender Scott Nisbet has suggested that Rangers can win their Europa League tie against Sparta Prague on Thursday.
The Gers lost 2-0 against Lyon in the previous match in this competition, and Steven Gerrard’s side will be looking to secure a victory and get their Euro campaign back on track.
Nisbet feels Rangers have been “terrific” under Gerrard in recent years in European competitions, having secured positive results against teams like Porto, Braga and Villarreal.
The former fan favourite is confident that Rangers will bounce back in this competition, but at the same time, he has suggested that the Gers need to sort out their leaky defence.
“It will be an extremely tough game but Rangers have established themselves in Europe under Gerrard,” said Nisbet, as quoted by the Scottish Sun.
“Their record over the past three years has been terrific. They have been to a lot of difficult places, like Porto, Braga and Villarreal, and done well.
“That’s why I think they can win in Prague although the key is to defend well and not to concede silly goals or free-kicks around their own box.”
Nisbet is absolutely spot on here. Rangers were superb at the back last season, conceding only 13 goals throughout the campaign, but the Gers have looked fragile at the back.
Rangers have often made life complicated for themselves by playing too many passes around the box. The defenders have taken extra touches and got themselves into trouble when they could have easily played the ball out from the back quickly.
The injury problems have not helped either. The quintet of Allan McGregor, James Tavernier, Filip Helander, Connor Goldson and Borna Barisic has played just one match among them in the last 14 games, and there’s been a lot of chopping and changing.
The Gers have struggled to maintain the high standards they had set for themselves last season. The only positive they can draw is that they are still top of the Scottish Premiership and are picking up crucial points despite not playing to the best of their potential.
In other Rangers news, Derek Ferguson has shared major worry and concern for Gerrard after Bears 1-0 win v Dundee.