Round by round – these are who Rangers could face in Europe

Round by round – these are who Rangers could face in Europe

With Europa League football now guaranteed, Rangers make their long-awaited return to European competition after five years in the wilderness. Naturally the co-efficient has taken something of a hammering without the Gers on the continent, compounded by the shambolic performances of our city rivals, but it is time to have a look and see who Rangers can actually face in Europe’s second-biggest cup tournament.

Rangers enter into the first qualifying round, along with St Johnstone, but naturally cannot get Tommy Wright’s men due to the fact both are seeded, not to mention country protection. But who can Pedro’s men face up against in the opening round?

A trip to Ireland could be on the cards to Shamrock Rovers who currently sit fifth in the League of Ireland Premier League, and qualified for this by way of Cork City playing Dundalk in the cup final. This freed up another UEL slot which gave Rovers eligibility down in fourth place. Sounds a little close to home…

Incidentally, Cork City themselves are another possibility for Rangers having finished second.

Or Celtic’s destroyers in 2016 Lincoln Red Imps might get pulled out of the hat giving Rangers a long trip to Gibraltar. Other possibilities in the first round give Rangers trips to Georgia (Torpedo Kutaisi), the Faroes (NSI Runavik), or Moldova (Zaria Balti). In the first round for seeded teams, there is no such thing as a ‘glamour tie’.

Should Ped the Ted’s men get through the banana skin of round 1, round 2 awaits with infinitely better known outfits. As an unseeded team this time, Rangers will get a distinctly tougher tie with clashes with Israelis Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Danes Brondby, Croatians Hadjuk Split, and yes, both Aberdeen and St Johnstone could be there, but Rangers cannot get them by way of country protection. Other possibilities are Sweden’s AIK Stockholm and Serbian Giants Red Star.

If Rangers somehow get to round 3, the hike in quality will be stark. AC Milan, Zenit St Petersburg, PSV Eindhoven, Marseille and Everton all enter the competition here providing a brutal test for a hopefully new-look Rangers, and even the most optimistic Bear probably does not have Rangers getting to round 3 far less getting past the likes of the Rossoneri or the Toffees.

But this was a flavour of the calibre of opponent Rangers will definitely face. Leagues around Europe are still to complete their domestic campaigns so not all places are filled, but of the ones that are, this was a hint of what awaits the Ibrox men in the next couple of months.

Hopefully a team is assembled that gives Rangers a fighting chance.

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  1. Man,rounds 2 and 3 are really tough. I'd be surprised if we get into the competition proper

  2. Never mind the 3rd round there is still the playoff round to come after that. Heres the early season. dates:

    Europa League First qualifying round Leg 1 Thursday June 29
    Europa League First qualifying round Leg 2 Thursday July 6

    Europa League Second qualifying round Leg 1 Thursday July 13
    Europa League Second qualifying round Leg 2 Thursday July 20

    Europa League Third qualifying round Leg 1 Thursday July 27
    Europa League Third qualifying round Leg 2 Thursday Aug 3

    Scottish Premiership matchday 1 – Saturday Aug 5

    League Cup: Second Round – Tue/Wed August 8/9 (Rangers and other euro clubs enter competition).

    Europa League Play-off round Leg 1 Thursday Aug 17
    Europa League Play-off round Leg 2 Thursday Aug 24

    Europa League Group Stage matchday 1 Thursday Sep 14

  3. Didn't realise Rd. 3 would be that difficult.

    Celtic's 'shambolic' performances in Europe? Under Deila maybe. Don't make hostages to fortune!

    • Yes but they went on to qualify for the Group stages and got two draws against Manchester City who were walking away with the EPL at the time.

      My point is that by claiming Celtic's European performances last year as shambolic sets a very high bar for Rangers.

  4. Could this be the first to jump ship before shit hits fan…..


  5. Don't care who we get in the early rounds so long as they don't play summer football and have much better match sharpness. Dundalk got to the group stages on the strength of they were sharper in the qualifiers playing teams who were still doing preseason so it counts for a lot…

  6. Gordon, you should sod off to your own tarrier website and stop obsessing about Rangersome.

  7. Don't think round 3 is as hard as that tbh pretty sure those giants come in at playoff round although would still be difficult if we got there

  8. John

    Just in case you have been asleep or your head has been somewhere the past couple of months….here is a flavour of what our Criminal Chairman is bringing our way, John Gilligan is getting out before the shit hits the fan is my guess….and until King is gone, anyone and no one will look near us with a barge pole…..


  9. I'm wondering what the odds are to qualify for the league stage.Could be aound 7 or 8 to one.
    Worth a punt if so…

  10. First two rounds are hard for all Scottish clubs & even harder when we draw clubs that play summer football when we are in pre-season… Don't really want us to change to summer football but it might become our only option in next few years. Would increase chances in Europe & also raise TV money, getting to the stage where we might as well give it a go

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