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[FT] Royal Antwerp 3 - 4 Rangers (Aribo 38; Barisic 59pen, 90pen; Kent 83)


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2 hours ago, Frankie said:

Some suggestions in the media that Tav may be injured which is not good news.

 

Press conference later should give some clarity on that.

Not good if true, Patterson would step in but we don’t know if he is available? Jack could also step in! maybe Balogun?

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2 hours ago, Frankie said:

 

Not often I'm described as a journalist (thankfully) but have been in Voetbal Primeur today.

 

 

 

You are too modest; be thankful, and take pleasure that they did not describe you as a 'Football Writer', which would consign you to the green wheelie bin of useless and partisan bastards that is, largely, the sporting press in this country. 

 

Below is something from your competition.

 

Note that the RA manager is called "Franky" (with a 'Y', granted but it is the Flemish variant). Spooky, or what?

On the bases that there is no such thing as coincidence, and that the public has a right to know, I have to ask:

Did you dazzle on the wing for the Belgian National XI in the 1980s?

 

 

‘Little Prince’ Franky Vercauteren seeks glory against Rangers

Ben Palmer

Wednesday February 17 2021, 12.01am, The Times

 

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/little-prince-franky-vercauteren-seeks-glory-against-rangers-59w53z5pb

 

Royal Antwerp are not to be underestimated when Rangers face the Belgian side tomorrow in the Europa League. In the group stage, they finished second to Tottenham, but beat Jose Mourinho’s side when they travelled to Belgium on matchday two.

Trouble off the pitch
Although the club endured a turbulent winter, they sit second in the Belgian top flight, 13 points behind Club Brugge but four ahead of Genk.

At the end of December, Antwerp lost their manager, Ivan Leko, who was tempted by a lucrative offer from Chinese side Shanghai Port just six months into his tenure. He was replaced by Franky Vercauteren, a former Belgian international known in his homeland as “The Little Prince of Astrid Park”, the home of Anderlecht, who are Antwerp’s biggest rivals.

One of his first jobs in charge was to deal with the fallout of a publicity stunt by striker Didier Lamkel Zé, who turned up to training wearing an Anderlecht strip in an attempt to force through a move to Panathinaikos. He apologised and remains at the club but is suspended for the meeting with Rangers.

Recent form
Antwerp come into this one in reasonable form. They have lost only once in their past seven outings, winning five. If Steven Gerrard was looking for a gauge of Antwerp’s level then he would have got it at the weekend when they drew 1-1 with Standard Liège, who Rangers beat twice in the group stage but faced stiff competition from in both fixtures.

Antwerp did score a last-minute winner against Liège but it was disallowed for offside by VAR, a decision that was lamented by Vercauteren.

Injury concerns up front
Antwerp host Rangers while having to contend with a number of injury issues. Congolese striker Dieumerci Mbokani, once of Norwich and Hull, is set to miss out with a calf issue and third-choice forward Felipe Avenatti looks most likely to start up top.

The Uruguayan arrived on loan from Liège last month and came off the bench in both of their matches against Rangers earlier in the competition. He has scored just three goals in 17 appearances this term, with two of those coming in the Europa League qualifiers against minnows Bala Town and Vojvodina.

Midfielders Faris Haroun, once of Middlesbrough and Blackpool, and Alexis De Sart and Jean Butez, the goalkeeper, are all also out.

Refaelov poses threat
Their danger man is Lior Refaelov, the attacking midfielder who is their top scorer this season with 10 goals in 34 appearances. The diminutive playmaker is comfortable with both feet and his low centre of gravity can make him difficult to tackle as he shields the ball from defenders.

Lack of clean sheets
Antwerp are not the most resilient in defence. Of the top four teams in Belgium, they have conceded the most goals (36 in 27 games) and have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last three matches.

Last summer, they signed Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand and the 28-year-old had to bide his time after moving from Persepolis, where he was briefly a team-mate of Anthony Stokes. He made his debut last December in a 2-0 defeat to Tottenham but it was not until January that he nailed down the No 1 jersey and he has kept three clean sheets in eight appearances this year.

Before moving to Europe, Beiranvand was considered one of the best shot-stoppers in Asia and was the first footballer from Iran to be nominated for an individual award at the Best Fifa Football Awards in 2017 when he finished joint-ninth in goalkeeper of the year.

European history
This last-32 tie is the furthest Antwerp have gone in continental competition since 1993, when they reached the final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup and were beaten by Parma at Wembley. Last season, they reached the playoff round of the Europa League qualifiers, which was their first European campaign since 1994/95.

Manager’s glory days
Since retiring in 1993, Vercauteren has been around the block, managing ten different clubs. A dazzling winger, he shone for Belgium at the 1986 World Cup when they recorded a fourth-placed finish in Mexico and was nominated for the Ballon d’Or
in 1983.

His managerial career has had ups and downs, winning two league titles with Anderlecht and another with Genk but in the past decade he has managed in the United Arab Emirates, had a two-month spell at Sporting Lisbon and stints in Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Vercauteren and Antwerp’s glory days may be behind them but he will be keen to show that they are both still capable of making a mark at the top level.

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Looking forward to this tonight. Id take a 1-1 to get an away goal but think we can win there.

 

Starting line up will be interesting if SG keeps Hagi in the side or brings Roofe in - or even both. But being a European game away from home I think it will be a strong 3 man midfield and only one from Hagi and Roofe will start.

 

Interestingly the bookies have us odds on at 17/20.

 

Id probably start this:

 

McGregor

 

Tavernier Goldson Helander Barisic

 

Davis Jack Kamara

 

Hagi Kent

 

Morelos

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2 hours ago, Gribz said:

Looking forward to this tonight. Id take a 1-1 to get an away goal but think we can win there.

 

Starting line up will be interesting if SG keeps Hagi in the side or brings Roofe in - or even both. But being a European game away from home I think it will be a strong 3 man midfield and only one from Hagi and Roofe will start.

 

Interestingly the bookies have us odds on at 17/20.

 

Id probably start this:

 

McGregor

 

Tavernier Goldson Helander Barisic

 

Davis Jack Kamara

 

Hagi Kent

 

Morelos

My preference would be Roofe over Morelos, but I suspect it may be Roofe in for Hagi (may depend on Roofe’s fitness because away in Europe that position is really demanding compared to up front). 
 

I think Hagi has generally been one of the better performers in Europe so I would hope he would play. 

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  • Frankie changed the title to [Pre-match] Royal Antwerp v Rangers
  • Frankie changed the title to [FT] Royal Antwerp 3 - 4 Rangers (Aribo 38; Barisic 59pen, 90pen; Kent 83)

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