By Pranav Shahaney

19th Sep, 2023 | 5:10pm

Michael Beale must wield the axe on Kemar Roofe and perhaps look for a system change as Rangers take on Real Betis in the UEFA Europa League.

Gers play host to the La Liga side on Thursday (21 September) after their recent capitulation against FC Barcelona.

While Beale’s side haven’t started the season too strongly themselves, home advantage perhaps puts them as slight favourites for this one.

Clubs in Europe usually go for three-man midfields as the games are slower and more technical and Beale will want to dominate possession as far as possible.

Over the weekend, Roofe was part of a four-man attack that comprised Sam Lammers, Danilo and Tom Lawrence.

Of course, Danilo’s injury rules him out of this game, but there’s a good chance that it won’t be the only change.

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Despite being overwhelming favourites and dominating possession against St Johnstone, Roofe failed to have a huge impact on proceedings.

The 30-year-old completed just 20 passes all game [Sofascore] – which was fewer than Sam Lammers, who lasted 73 minutes, as well as Tom Lawrence.

Even Abdallah Sima, who came off the bench for Danilo, completed 18 passes playing in a more advanced position.

While Roofe may have been all over the place, as his heat map indicates, he was no good at winning back possession, losing six out of his seven ground duels.

He also lost possession on 15 occasions and this wasn’t the sort of display that Beale would’ve wanted from the senior attacker.

Sima looked sharp coming off the bench and so did Rabbi Matondo and an argument can even be made about Cyriel Dessers being asked to lead the line.

Ryan Jack is arguably the club’s best midfielder and Jose Cifuentes is also perhaps part of the strongest XI in the side.

Both of them were unused substitutes over the weekend and could come into the side for someone like Roofe and John Lundstram.

It will be a real surprise if Beale starts the English attacker after his performance against St Johnstone over the weekend.

In other Rangers news, a never-seen-before player was spotted in Gers training on Monday amid a recent international development.