Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is enjoying a stunning start to the 2020/21 campaign as his side continue to shine both domestically and in Europe. Next in line for the 40-year-old is a huge away clash with Benfica in the Europa League – and manager Jorge Jesus believes there are similarities between Rangers and Liverpool.
Jesus, 66, is familiar with Liverpool’s style of play after his Flamengo team pushed them hard in the Club World Cup final last year, narrowly losing 1-0 in extra-time.
The Gers are currently enjoying a rich run of form that has seen them stretch their unbeaten run in all competitions to 18 matches. Rangers are currently leading Scottish Premiership champions Celtic in the league table by nine points and have also made a 100 per cent start in Europe – they also haven’t conceded in any of their previous six matches.
Of those 18 victories, Rangers have won 16 including an Old Firm victory over Celtic, a 5-1 win over Motherwell and knocking Galatasaray out of the Europa League.
Next in line for Gerrard and his team is Portuguese giants Benfica, who will host the in-form Glasgow giants off the back of a 3-0 loss to Boavista at the weekend – their only league defeat this season.
It is no doubt a big test for Gerrard to overcome Benfica in their own back-yard and his managerial counterpart Jesus has openly claimed that he is determined to become the first coach to get the upper hand over the Scottish outfit this season.
The Benfica coach spoke of Rangers’ tactical acumen and believes that Gerrard’s Rangers have drawn similarities to that inspired by Liverpool and more specifically, Jurgen Klopp.
“We will find an opponent that with Benfica I think will define the classification in this group stage. The strongest opponent we found. I know [Rangers] well, last year they played against FC Porto and Braga,” he said as per Record.
“A different system, similar to that of Liverpool, always plays with the same idea, away or at home.”
“They have an interesting game system, normally teams that play in 4-3-3 go more to 4-5-1, but they are not,” he said. “It’s really 4-3-3, with the ball and without the ball. A little bit like Liverpool, but with different players.”
What RTK has to say
These are strong words of encouragement and there certainly is no better philosophy to base your success upon than Liverpool. After-all, Klopp’s Reds are currently the reigning English and world champions and recently won the Champions League in 2019.
Also, Gerrard learnt the fundamentals of his coaching at Liverpool following his stint as the under-18’s manager during the 2017/18 season before taking the job at Ibrox.
Rangers are undoubtedly a long way off matching the same relentless standards that Liverpool have been able to incorporate into their game, but a coach as experienced as Jesus comparing Gerrard to Klopp is undoubtedly a huge compliment.
A win against Benfica would be another ball in Gerrard’s court with both teams locked on six points going into the top-of-the-table encounter.
If Rangers can make it three wins from three, and also extend their unbeaten run to 19 matches, then the sky really is the limit for the high-flying Scottish side.
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