Smith ready to shut up shop once more for Valencia's visit
Wednesday 20 October 2010
Walter Smith, the Rangers manager, has admitted his side might struggle to follow their usual defensive tactics in the Champions League when they entertain Valencia at Ibrox tonight. Smith said the mental adjustment required to set up so cautiously at home "is a little bit of a problem", given the more open game they employ in the Scottish Premier League.
"We have to play in a manner that is not our normal way of playing but we have had to do that on a number of occasions and we have managed to handle that okay," Smith said. "I think the players appreciate that there has to be a change of emphasis in these games and they have all done that very well so far this season."
By using a flat back five with four midfielders in front of them, Rangers managed to draw 0-0 at Manchester United before beating Bursaspor 1-0 at Ibrox. If they are to achieve anything in Europe this season, their home form must be better than last year, when they lost all three home Champions League group games, starting with a 4-1 rout to Seville. This was in a club tradition of home defeats to Spanish opposition; not since Osasuna in 1985 have they beaten a La Liga side at Ibrox and they still lost that Uefa Cup tie on aggregate. It ought to be remembered, though, that Smith deployed similar tactics in a 0-0 draw against Barcelona in 2007, prompting Lionel Messi to accuse them of "anti-football".
Hector Cuper's Valencia side won 2-1 at Ibrox in 1999 on the way to the first of two successive losing appearances in the Champions League final. Although Unai Emery's team might not be quite the same calibre, they are still just one point off the lead in La Liga and thrashed Bursaspor 4-0 in their first away game in Group C. The two Davids, Villa and Silva, were sold in the summer, but players like Pablo Hernandez, Aritz Aduriz and the precocious Juan Mata have filled the gap.
Rangers (probable, 5-4-1): McGregor; Whittaker, Weir, Bougherra, Broadfoot, Papac; Weiss, Davis, Edu, Naismith; Miller.
Valencia (probable, 4-5-1): César; Bruno, Navarro, Costa, Mathieu; Pablo, Albelda, Fernandes, Banega, Mata; Soldado.
Referee: N Rizzoli (Italy).
TV: Sky Sports 4, Sky Sports HD4.
sportBayern Munich 2 Manchester City 3: City come from two down to beat reigning European Champions
newsAs the world remembers Mandela the hero, the prison where he spent 27 years seems all the more brutal
arts + ents... and a chance to paint Booker Prize winning author Hilary Mantel
danceUnder Tamara Rojo's inspired direction, it seems possible that it could challenge the dominance of the Royal Ballet. We meet some established names and rising stars
travelDiscover Uruguay's jet-set beach resort, an Atlantic enclave with plenty of art and culture to explore on the side
Latest in Sport
Roy Keane omits Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs from 'greatest' Manchester United team
Former England captain Mick Mills 'turned a blind eye' to initiation ceremony abuse at Stoke City, which included sexual assault dubbed 'The Glove'
Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira relive rivalry - after the former Manchester United and Arsenal captains shared ice cream in Warsaw
Patrick Vieira put Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp up front in 'greatest' Arsenal team - but there's no room for Cesc Fabregas and Marc Overmars
Manchester United player ratings: The best (and worst) performers for David Moyes during the season so far
- 1 Mountain goats' miraculous escape from avalanche captured in dramatic video footage
- 2 Gurdwaras-turned-food banks: Sikh temples are catering for rise in Britain’s hungry
- 3 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 4 Government delays EU immigration report because it is too positive
- 5 'I'm experiencing austerity as well', says Princess Michael of Kent