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Michael Taylor 28th Sep 2009 - 20:34

Rangers’ best bet is to keep it tight at Ibrox

Glasgow Rangers make their Champions League home bow this Tuesday with a daunting looking tie against Spanish giants Sevilla but, if the Scots can shut out their opposition's daunting forward line, then they may prove to be a great value bet.

The Ibrox club, despite their faults, can easily boast the best defensive record in Scottish football having conceded just three goals in their opening six games - the only difference here though is that instead of Darren Mackie they're up against Luis Fabiano, and instead of Danny Invincible there is Adriano.

With such star names it comes as little surprise that Sevilla do start as the evens jollies but, as we've seen so often in big European games in Scotland, the form book can so often be thrown out of the window.

The atmosphere will be electric, the players will be well drilled and it's fair to say that Sevilla won't have come across too many teams in either La Liga or Europe with the physical attributes possessed by the Light Blues.

Starting from the evergreen David Weir right through to Lee McCulloch the Gers will try to bully, counter attack and tackle hard on the skilful Spaniards - and it may just work.

Rangers are massive at 11/5 to win the game but it is understandable given their recent failure to score against Aberdeen, Kilmarnock or Motherwell in their last three SPL fixtures.

However, you have to back them breaking that duck at some point and they showed enough tactical nous at Stuttgart on Champions League match day one to suggest they stand a decent chance of making the knock-out stages this year.

One word that springs to mound is execute as they'll need to follow Smith's game plan to the letter or else fall foul to the away side's class.

The plan will involve keeping it tight (13/5 about a home team clean sheet), trying to snatch a goal either on the break or from set-pieces and pressing the ball right over the pitch for the full ninety minutes.

In no way suggesting the Spanish will go down easily but you have to think the robust Scots will rack up at least a few bookings if they are to physically dominate - so the 10/11 available for both more than 45 total booking points (five bookings) and Rangers gaining more booking points than Sevilla could be bankers.

In terms of where Rangers can get a goal from you have to be looking towards big Kris Boyd at 8/1 to open the scoring.

He's not always to Walter Smith's liking but he is their most proven goalscorer and has a good habit of coming up big whenever he's needed - and it doesn't get any bigger than this for the blue half of Glasgow.




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