Rangers need to find a solution to Ryan Jack absence

This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…

Should Rangers manager Steven Gerrard play Glen Kamara or Scott Arfield in the midfield position left vacant by Ryan Jack’s injury? The Scotland star picked up a knee problem on international duty, leaving a vacancy in the centre of the pitch.

What do they bring to the team?

Steven Davis and Joe Aribo would appear to be nailed on given their selection in Rangers’ biggest games so far this season, but there is space for one more.

Kamara is the more defensive-minded of the two and would play a deeper role, protecting the space left by either full-back in unison with Davis, leaving Aribo to play further up the park and link play.

Arfield, as displayed against Livingston on Saturday, would be more attack-minded; he was unlucky not to score with a left-foot strike that hit the underside of the crossbar while another drive was well saved.

He showed that he is willing to shoot on sight, and his goal-scoring record compared to Kamara backs that up. Kamara has just three goals in 153 domestic appearances throughout his career, whereas Arfield has scored two already this season in 11 games.

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What should Gerrard do?

Arfield should be selected in his more familiar attacking role so that Rangers can control the midfield area, with Kamara then coming in to anchor the midfield.

With Arfield playing narrower, Gerrard’s side will look for width from their full-backs James Tavernier and Borna Barisic. Although Arfield might not be involved in the first phase of a counter-attack, his late runs into the box and central support of the striker should give him the opportunity to be involved further up the pitch.

He did his best work in the position last season and ended up with 12 goals and seven assists.

Rangers will have to be at their best to get a result against Feyenoord and Arfield could be the most important player on the park, through his ability to support the attack with goals and assists.

But Kamara’s defensive qualities will have a crucial role to play as well, as someone who can break up attacks before distributing the ball to the likes of Arfield in front of him.

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