Gerrard can repair key Rangers concern by unleashing “unbelievable” beast who’s “very fast” – opinion
Glasgow Rangers defender Leon Balogun will likely be an integral a part of Steven Gerrard’s plans for beating Benfica within the Europa League, with the Mild Blues centre-back holding Sam Cosgrove in his again pocket all through the sport in opposition to Aberdeen on the weekend.
Rangers welcome Benfica to Ibrox on Thursday night time and will likely be trying to prolong their unbeaten begin to the season, with the Gers throwing away a two-goal lead to attract with the 10-man Portuguese giants in Lisbon final day trip as Filip Helander had an evening to overlook in Portugal.
Would you begin Leon Balogun as an alternative of Filip Helander in opposition to Benfica within the Europa League?
Gerrard’s facet stormed 11 factors away from Celtic on the high of the Scottish Premiership, after objectives from Ryan Kent, Kemar Roofe, Scott Arfield and James Tavernier helped the Bears beat Aberdeen at dwelling.
The consequence retains the Gers atop the league desk with a wholesome lead over their arch-rivals, while Benfica had been crushed by Braga in a 3-2 defeat earlier than the worldwide break, which noticed them slip to 3rd within the desk with two wins from their final 5 fixtures in all competitions.
Rafa Silva struck the second of the Eagles’ objectives within the second half to maintain them within the recreation in opposition to the Gers, earlier than Darwin Nunez scored in stoppage time to make sure that Jorge Jesus’ facet will likely be brimming with confidence after they journey to Ibrox on Thursday night time.
Silva has scored three objectives and provided 4 assists in ten video games to date this season, as he continues to shine for the Portuguese facet since his arrival from Braga, now with a tally of 40 objectives and 26 assists to his identify.
Gerrard will likely be effectively conscious of the menace the fitting winger poses and can know that neutralising the 27-year-old will likely be pivotal to securing victory, however he ought to be buoyed by the truth that Balogun performed an instrumental half because the Gers saved their seventeenth clear sheet in all competitions in opposition to Aberdeen.
Per SofaScore, the 32-year-old was a ballast on the again, combining with Connor Goldson to limit the Dons to only three photographs heading in the right direction all through the sport, as he made two interceptions, received three out of 4 floor duels, was fouled twice, and received the penalty which was transformed by the membership captain, exhibiting he was a helpful attacking asset in addition to he took 83 touches of the ball and accomplished 68 out of 76 passes (89%).
Gerrard made no try and disguise his delight after Balogun returned to the beginning line-up in opposition to Lech Poznan within the Europa League, describing him as a “unbelievable” beast who’s “very fast,” as quoted by The Herald.
In distinction, it’s truthful to say that Helander has struggled for consistency to date this season, while he was at fault for 2 of the objectives in opposition to the Eagles.
Little doubt the Ibrox boss will likely be hoping that Balogun can proceed his superb kind in current weeks when Rangers face Benfica at Ibrox this Thursday.
AND in different information, Zungu beware: Glasgow Rangers midfielder Scott Arfield sends Steven Gerrard well timed reminder…
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