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Rangers: Steven Davis ruled out of Young Boys clash

Rangers: Steven Davis ruled out of Young Boys clash

Rangers will be without midfielder Steven Davis for tonight’s concluding Europa League clash against Young Boys at Ibrox.

Who should Rangers' penalty taker be?

Alfredo Morelos

Alfredo Morelos

James Tavernier

James Tavernier

Neither

Neither

As reported by rangers.co.uk, manager Steven Gerrard confirmed in yesterday’s pre-match press conference that the 34-year-old is nearing a comeback from the foot injury he sustained against Aberdeen last week but would not be fit in time to face the Swiss side tonight.

Speaking about the Northern Ireland international on Wednesday, Gerrard said that he “won’t be too far away, but he won’t make tomorrow’s game”. [via rangers.co.uk]

The loss of Davis deprives Rangers of one of their stalwarts in the middle of the park, with his 2,044 minutes of game-time second only to Ryan Jack’s 2,128 among the Light Blues’ midfielders (as per TransferMarkt).

The veteran midfielder had been ever-present in the Europa League group stage prior to tonight and has made 22 starts this season, illustrating how much Gerrard has trusted in him.

The Northern Ireland man’s absence will leave a significant void to fill in terms of ball-winning ability in the middle of the park, with Davis’ 2.6 successful tackles per game the highest average in Rangers’ squad and by far the highest of their midfield options (as per WhoScored).

The 34-year-old has also been key to the Light Blues’ passing game, with nobody else in the squad averaging more than his 55.4 passes per match. [via WhoScored]

With Davis missing out against Young Boys, Scott Arfield could again be deployed in midfield, having moved there from his usual wide attacking role for Sunday’s Betfred Cup final defeat to Celtic.

The Canadian garnered mixed reviews from his performance at Hampden Park, with The Scottish Sun‘s Andy Devlin saying that he “got through a power of work in the middle of the park” and James Benson writing in the Daily Express that there was “plenty of fight but not enough cutting edge from the former Burnley man”.

While Arfield gave an industrious performance at Hampden Park on Sunday, judging by the commentary from reporters, his average of 1.2 successful tackles per game is still well short of Davis’ 2.6.

Also, with Christian Fassnacht providing a scoring threat from Young Boys’ midfield with nine goals this season, stifling his influence could be key to Rangers’ hopes of getting a result tonight.

Davis could well have done that job with aplomb and whoever features in his central midfield role tonight will have a considerable void to fill, be that Arfield or someone else in Gerrard’s squad.

Rangers fans, how much do you think Davis will be missed tonight? Who would you pick in his place? Join in the discussion by commenting below!

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Article title: Rangers: Steven Davis ruled out of Young Boys clash

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