So we may be a tad late to the party with a piece but nevertheless Ibrox Noise noted with interest the draw for Rangers’ latest European adventure, beginning as it will in either Kosovo or Gibraltar.
The draw for the preliminary and first rounds took place yesterday, and all the hype, as per, was about whether or not we’d get Progres Niederkorn, just like it was last year.
Instead Prishtina or St Joseph’s will provide the opposition, depending which of these two wins their preliminary round tie.
Last year, Rangers were given Macedonian side Shkupi, and despite not being terribly convincing in either leg, made it through for those fateful two legs against Osijek which ‘gave’ us Eros Grezda and Borna Barisic.
As we know, we navigated these and all other qualifying rounds, and Steven Gerrard, having enjoyed a mostly stellar split and managing to bring in some decent new talent this pre-season, will certainly expect Rangers to get past a Kosovan or Gibraltar side without too much difficulty.
For what it’s worth, Prishtina finished second in Kosovo, a solid 5 points behind FK Feronikeli, while St Joseph’s finished 11 points off the pace in Gibraltar, in third. It would be hard to say who’s really the favourite here but Prishtina have the marginally better coefficient at 1.250 to St Joseph’s .800.
Rangers are 5.25, which still isn’t exactly much to shout home about, but Gerrard will definitely have the tools to get the job done, and a squad filled of players with plenty of European experience now.
Which is crucial.
Meanwhile, St Joseph’s ‘stadium’ barely holds 5,000, which you may be able to tell from the photo above. Not quite the Bernabeu we must say!
We await the first leg in three weeks.