Jorge Jesus reckons Alfredo Morelos is not the easiest on the eye but the Benfica boss is worried the Rangers striker will leave Steven Gerrard’s team sitting pretty in the race for the Europa League last 32.
The Scottish Premiership leaders and Thursday’s Portuguese rivals have both started their Group D campaign with back-to-back wins.
Morelos netted 14 goals in Europe last term and pounced again last week after climbing off the bench to sink Lech Poznan at Ibrox.
And Jesus is worried the Gers hitman will leave his side in the shade at the Stadium of Light as he compared him to a former German World Cup winner.
The Benfica boss told Sport TV: “The striker is very well known. He’s a Colombian who doesn’t have much of a playing style, he doesn’t have an elegant aesthetic, but he’s very dangerous. He’s got that style like Gerd Muller.”
Jesus returned to the Lisbon giants this summer for a second stint in charge having spent last year leading Brazilian outfit Flamengo to Copa Libertadores glory.
That triumph in South America’s version of the Champions League set up a clash with Liverpool in the Club World Cup Final and Jesus reckons Gerrard has taken tactical inspiration from his old Anfield side.
And he admits his Eagles outfit will not have faced a tougher test this season than the one presented by the Light Blues.
He added: “They play in a very complicated system, they try to imitate Liverpool’s 4-3-3 which I know from playing against them in the Club World Cup Final.
“They’ll create more problems for us than the teams we’ve faced so far.
“In the 4-3-3 the players in front do not get into defensive tasks very much, we have to pay special attention to the way the team comes out in recovering the ball.
“They have an interesting game system. Normally teams that play in 4-3-3 go more to 4-5-1 without the ball – but not Rangers. It’s really a 4-3-3 with and without the ball. A little bit like Liverpool, but with different players.
“They competed with Porto in the group stage last season, they won at home and drew in the Dragao. They also faced Braga too in the last 32.
“Whoever wins will have the best chance of qualifying and it’s sure to be a fiercely contested game.
“I’ve no doubt that we’ll be facing our strongest opponents to date, including the league but even without our fans we’re stronger.”
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe