Following Ibrox Noise’s Derek’s fine tactical analysis of Thursday’s match, we also wanted to look at the more ‘emotional’ side of this upcoming clash.
Of course, the last time these two faced each other competitively was a fateful two matches – that incredible win at the-then Lyon home of Stade Gerland by 0-3 remains one of the greatest European wins in Rangers’ history, slaying a true giant of the continent on their own turf.
Then the return leg in which they returned the favour, obliterating the home side and announcing the outstanding Karim Benzema.
These two were of course part of the road to Manchester so there’s a LOT of history between our sides and a lot of subplots.
Today? The big one is of course one of Europe’s form strikers in former Celtic hitman Moussa Dembele’s first return to Glasgow, and the prolific former France U21 international knows he’s in for a hot reception in Govan.
Plus their move of home in 2016 to the Groupama Stadium (Parc Olympique Lyonnais to you and I) from their former abode which is now a rugby stadium.
But there’s a lot more too, and Derek did cover the tactical side of it earlier.
But tellingly it’s a return to high-quality European football against a side who will be more than a stiff test.
Rangers have faced only one truly top European side this season in the form of Malmo and sadly fell a distance short of being good enough.
Lyon are, to be truthful, an infinite scale superior to the Swedes and while Rangers’ form and results have improved, Frank Bosz’ team will very much test our side to its limits, especially in light of our potential injury drama.
There’s a lot of tales over this one – but fundamentally it’s the first non-qualification European match at Ibrox since Bayer Leverkusen last year to feature a crowd, and that’s a welcome change.
It’ll serve as a 12th man, something we’ve not had in Europe for so long, and of course we did stunningly well without their backing. So add it, and it might just inspire more.
But yes, Lyon at Ibrox.
It’s going to be a tasty one.