Liverpool travels to Glasgow, Scotland to take on Rangers in a glamour-friendly Tuesday. Manager Kenny Dalglish and first team coach Steve Clarke outlined what to expect in a game between traditional powers of English and Scottish soccer.
Preparation for Carling Cup Action and a Taste of European Soccer
Don’t expect to see first-team players that featured in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Manchester United. With Saturday’s home game against Norwich on the horizon, Dalglish will rest his regulars and use players who have may not have appeared much in recent weeks. The friendly is ideal preparation for those he may include in the Oct. 26 Carling Cup game at Stoke City.
Dalglish and Clarke also believe the trip will expose new players at the club to the level of European competition.
Dalglish said, “For us it’s important that our players, especially the new ones we’ve brought in who don’t have a great deal of experience of playing football outside of England, to get a bit of an idea of what it’s like to play somewhere else.”
“It’s a match that can be treated like a European trip,” Clark added. “Obviously we’re all disappointed that we’re not involved in Europe this year, but we’re hopeful that in years to come we will be involved in Europe so it’s important to try and get some experience into the younger players.”
A Competitive Game
Rangers are three-times defending champions of the Scottish Premier League. Their domestic dominance hasn’t translated into European success, but their squad is full of internationals –- including three Americans –- that have winning mentalities. They surely will not wilt in the face of English Premier League opposition.
“We’ll go up there with as strong a team as we possibly can.” Dalglish said. “Obviously, we’ve got to get an education for some of the players who’ve just come to the club and some of the younger ones in the club. But we’ll go up to Glasgow and we know it’ll be a competitive game and that’ll be beneficial to everybody.”
Clarke said, “Rangers have had a good start to the season. Any time you go to play one of the two big Glasgow teams, Rangers or Celtic, you expect a difficult game — and I’m sure this game at Ibrox will be no exception to that.
A Sizeable Crowd With a Lively Atmosphere
Ibrox Stadium boasts a capacity of 51,082 and most of those seats should be filled for this match. Dalglish and Clarke believe the intensity of the crowd and opposition will come close to replicating that of a UEFA Champions or Europa League game. The experience will benefit LFC players -– especially the younger ones.
“Hopefully they’ll get a good crowd in for the match — and if they do then the atmosphere will be quite hostile.” Clarke said. “It’s a good learning process for the younger players who maybe haven’t experienced that much European football.”
Dalglish added, “Obviously it’s a huge football club and you’d expect it to be a big attendance there. It’s not as if it’s a game where you’re going to take it easy and be nice and casual. They’re going to be well up for the game and so they should be.