Underdogs or favourites? Stevie plays cards close to chest v Turks

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GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 20: Rangers fans during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg match between Rangers FC and Sporting Braga at Ibrox Stadium on February 20, 2020 in Glasgow, United Kingdom.
They won't be there but they'll expect....(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

After Rangers routed Willem II last week, there’s no question Steven Gerrard has the absolute measure of Europe.

He’s shown time and time again, regardless of the Rangers squad he actually has at the time, that he can overcome some of Europe’s top sides, and with aplomb at that.

He has nothing to prove, not any more, and not on that front certainly.

Which is why his inferring Rangers are the underdogs and Galatasaray are the tie favourites is more than a touch of modesty, and despite suggesting the Turkish goliaths are a Champions League team, in fact since 2016 they’ve been as much a UEL as a CL team. Arguably more of one, and Rangers are a very experience UEL team themselves these days, which is certainly at the very least a major leveller.

If anything, Rangers are actually marginal favourites for this, despite the club’s understandable protestations to the contrary, given just how impressive Gerrard’s men have been in the competition since 2018.

So while we don’t ‘expect’ a win, after all Galatasaray have one of the world’s best strikers (still) in the great Radamel Falcao, who despite being 34 still scores for fun anywhere he plays, we do nevertheless expect Rangers to strongly compete in this match and a win would not be a surprise.

It’s a big one, a huge match, but Galatasaray’s star has massively faded in the past decade and they’re not the side they were even as recently as 2014 where they made the CL round of 16.

So we hope and anticipate something good tonight.