3 changes Gerrard should make ahead of the upcoming pre-season friendly vs Bury this Friday
Rangers won their first game of their pre-season, beating Welsh champions The New Saints 3-1. More importantly, this was Steven Gerrard’s debut match as the Light Blues’ manager. Despite the friendly character of the meeting, it’s always good to start with a victory.
Serge Atakayi, Jamie Murphy and Ross McCrorie scored the goals for the Gers, while it’s worth noting that Gerrard fielded two different teams in each half.
During the first period, some of the younger players got a chance to impress, with Glenn Middleton and Zak Rudden being named in the starting XI. This led to some commotion, with TNS opening the scoring in the 1st minute after a goal by Ebbe.
However, this was one of the few unpleasant moments for the Gers in the first half. They equalised just 3 minutes later when Serge Atakayi netted after a great assist by fellow youngster Glenn Middleton.
Some of the more experienced players entered the fray after the pause. Alfredo Morelos, Josh Windass, Scott Arfield, Daniel Candeias and Jamie Murphy appeared, which resulted in two more goals and a serious Light Blue domination.
Murphy himself scored the second after a pass from Morelos, while Ross McCrorie got the third after a deflection. Rangers could have recorded a bigger win but missed a couple of good opportunities.
On Friday, the Scottish giants welcome English side Bury for their second friendly, which is also the last before the Europa League clashes with Macedonian team Shkupi.
While it’s positive that Gerrard named some youngsters in his starting XI against TNS, some changes might be required for the Bury match. He should start with the team that is most likely to begin the match against Shkupi and give youth a chance in the second half.
Wes Foderingham should start in goal instead of Jak Alnwick. Alternatively, if Gerrard sees Allan McGregor as his first-choice keeper, then he should be given the nod.
Lee Hodson stated as a right-back against TNS but James Tavernier or Jon Flanagan should begin the game. It’s clear that one of them will be the first-choice during the season.
Last but not least, Alfredo Morelos is the man identified as the biggest threat for opposition defenders in the current Rangers squad. He came on as a substitute versus TNS but he should start the friendly against Bury.
Pre-season is great because it gives the managers the option to experiment with their teams and find the best starting XI. Sadly for Steven Gerrard, the Europa League clashes are knocking the door and he doesn’t have too much time to test his side. After all, the Bury match is Rangers’ rehearsal for the European competition.