By Saikat Mandal

25th Apr, 2022 | 11:45am

Kris Commons drools over Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo

Rangers will be facing RB Leipzig on Thursday in the first leg of the Europa League clash in Germany.

The visitors head into this game without a recognised striker after Kemar Roofe got injured.

Kris Commons, a pundit for Sky Sports, has suggested that Giovanni van Bronckhorst should use Joe Aribo upfront.

Commons suggests that Van Bronckhorst should follow Liverpool or Manchester City’s approach of playing with a false-nine model, and that he should use the trio of Aribo, Fashion Sakala and Ryan Kent to cause problems.

“That’s the sort of system I think might suit Rangers best in Leipzig — and I believe Joe Aribo is the man best suited to playing the false-nine role,” Commons wrote for The Scottish Daily Mail (25 April; page 5).

“In terms of his touch and his technical ability, he’s a much better player than Sakala. I think a front three of Aribo centrally, with Sakala and Ryan Kent out wide, could cause Leipzig problems.

“Aribo and Kent were rested for Saturday’s victory over Motherwell in the Premiership, so they should be fresh and raring to go come Thursday night.

“It’s a funny one with Aribo (right). In the first half of the season, he was one of the best players in the country and looked a decent bet for Player of the Year along with some of the Celtic contingent.

“But he definitely went off the boil when he returned from the Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria a couple of months ago.

“In saying that, I think he’s definitely been finding some form again in recent games. His performances have picked up and he’s looking more dangerous.”

Worth a try

Aribo is definitely an option for the Gers boss, although the Dutchman has previously hinted that he could use Sakala upfront. 

The situation is far from ideal but Rangers have to cope with it. Losing both Alfredo Morelos and Kemar Roofe is a huge blow for the team, although the latter is likely to be back before the second leg. 

There is a feeling if Rangers can keep the game tight and even remain in the contest by conceding just a single goal, they have what it takes to turn it around at Ibrox. 

In the previous fixture, against Braga, they lost the first leg in Portugal but came back strongly to win the quarter-final in extra time. 

Aribo has been brilliant this season but his form dipped a bit after the international break. In recent weeks, he has looked dangerous once again. 

The Nigerian is more than capable of playing as a false nine, but Van Bronckhorst has other options as well. 

In other Rangers news, a BBC pundit has raved over Steven Davis’ “fantastic” performance against Motherwell.