Friday, 20 July 2018

Spanish giants await Rangers - UEL third qualifying round rundown


While Rangers have the second round of the Europa League to negotiate starting on the 26th, the third round draw will already have taken place three days earlier.

Having dispatched Macedonians Shkupi and hoping to do similar to Croatians Osijek, Rangers could find themselves among the big boys for the third round draw.

Here’s your Ibrox Noise guide to the heavy hitters unseeded Rangers could be facing should they negotiate the second round:

Sevilla are the top seeded side in the third round – the Spanish giants have been European regulars and winners in recent seasons, managed recently by ex-Milan coach Vincenzo Montella until he was fired in April - nowadays Pablo Machin has the reins. It is unlikely Rangers could overcome them but odder things have happened.

Fancy a trip to Turkey? Allan McGregor’s former stomping ground Besiktas lie in wait for any unseeded side in the third round, and will provide a huge test having finished fourth in the extremely strong Super Lig last season, while road to Manchester opponents Fiorentina may happily await their draw. Serie A’s La Viola seemingly took advantage of Milan’s banning from Europe and took their place when the Rossoneri were axed but today's CAS ruling has put the red and blacks back in. So we're not clear if it would be Fiorentina or Milan or both. Curious!

There are other big lads in there too. Manchester winners Zenit enter the competition at this stage, as do Dutch cracks Feyenoord and RB Leipzig, with other notable mentions including Burnley, Alkmaar, Bordeaux, Maccabi Tel-Aviv and Sparta Prague.

It all adds up to a hell of a draw on Monday and Rangers will have their work cut out to overcome any of the sides in it.
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