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Rangers: Van Bronckhorst must ditch Arfield vs Napoli

Glasgow Rangers face a must-win tie against Napoli in their penultimate Champions League fixture this evening.

In order to have any chance of finishing third and dropping down to the Europa League knockout stages, Rangers must defeat the Serie A leaders and hope Liverpool secure a win over Ajax.

This is a massive challenge, and with the way the Light Blues have performed recently – stuttering to a home draw against Livingston at the weekend – a positive result doesn’t look overly likely.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst will likely make some changes to the starting XI, and club stalwart Scott Arfield should be benched against Napoli.

Arfield could cost Rangers dearly

Scott Arfield signed a one-year contract extension at the end of last season with his role looking likely to be reduced to an impact sub, coming off the bench and using his experience around the first team.

Due to injuries, however, he has perhaps played more than he should have, especially in key matches, and his output hasn’t always been consistent.

In his two Champions League starts this season, against Napoli and Liverpool, the 33-year-old has averaged a disappointing SofaScore rating of just 6.4 – despite scoring the opener against the Premier League side.

The £16k-per-week midfielder has completed just 60% of his passes, won only 25% of his total duels and lost possession a staggering 14 times on average over both matches, suggesting that he is out of his depth facing elite opposition.

Even when he has started, the Dutchman has sometimes deployed him in a wide right role which reduces any influence that he can have on the team, and this in turn has a negative impact on his performance.

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Arfield is becoming something of a liability for the Light Blues the longer the campaign goes on and perhaps it would have been better to part ways in the summer – following a solid spell in Glasgow which featured 185 appearances and 34 goals, while also adding Premiership and Scottish Cup winners medals over the previous two seasons.

With Van Bronckhorst facing a precarious time in his Ibrox tenure, he needs everyone to be pulling their weight and Arfield has been miles off it, especially in the Champions League – and, with another below-par performance this evening, the veteran could cost Rangers dearly against their Italian opposition.

Article title: Rangers: Van Bronckhorst must ditch Arfield vs Napoli

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