Glasgow Rangers have had to deal with more than their fair share of injuries this season as Steven Gerrard’s side bid to stop Celtic from winning ten in a row. Joe Aribo and Leon Balogun have both been beset by injury problems in recent months whilst Nikola Katic remains sidelined with a cruciate ligament rupture – the latter has already missed more than three months of action with the Light Blues.
Gerrard was struck by another potential blow as Steven Davis appeared to be struggling with severe cramp during the final stages of the Euro 2020 play-off final but the Ibrox boss has been handed a huge boost ahead of the Europa League rematch with Benfica if recent reports are to be believed.
Rangers News have reported that the 35-year-old has survived unscathed after he was spotted in Northern Ireland training.
Despite his age, Davis has arguably been one of Rangers’ best players in recent weeks. The Gers spoilt a strong performance against Benfica as they threw away a three-goal lead as the Portuguese giants staged a remarkable comeback in the second half before the international break. However, the Northern Irish international was the real standout in the thrilling 3-3 draw in Lisbon.
With Davis covering the defence, Gerrard could opt to start Glen Kamara and Joe Aribo just behind the front three. Or he may even decide to start the veteran just behind Alfredo Morelos so he can create chances and float swinging passes over the top once again. The Gers conceded two sloppy late goals so they must get their act together at the back with a stronger defensive plan before they face Benfica at Ibrox.
The Rangers manager will be relieved to see Davis back on his feet, as he recently praised the Northern Irishman for his “incredible” run of form. Speaking to Rangers TV, Gerrard said: “I watched the game and he continues with his own standards. He’s involved in a game that’s 5-1 and it’s obviously away from them but he continues to do the right things and that sums Steven up.
“On a daily basis he has incredible standards and that comes out in your performances. The way he represents himself and this club on and off the pitch is a credit to himself and his family.”
Wherever Gerrard decides to deploy him, the ever-reliable veteran should provide some much-needed stability at the back, as well as being a useful attacking asset. The Gers are currently top of the Group D table, tied with Benfica on seven points, so it’s important that they pick up as many points as possible if they are to secure the top-seeded position and with Benfica last losing 3-2 to Braga at home, they’ve got a good chance of getting the vital win.
AND in other news, Gerrard can solve Glasgow Rangers’ glaring weakness by promoting Leon King…