Rangers face Sparta Prague tonight in what is, in actual fact, a giant match for a key number of reasons.
Ibrox Noise takes you through the gigantic conditions of this one, in case you didn’t know some of them.
First of all is obvious – it’s Gio’s first match. Just how will the players respond to the new manager, how will the new system work, and we can already imagine the crowd response will be superb for the coach. Just how well will Gio’s maiden match go?
Secondly what will be his level of ruthlessness? Who will he pick, who will he drop; crucially will fans be happy to see sweeping changes or will he relent and remain with the familiar faces for now?
But next is in fact most important – if Rangers win this one by two clear goals, we’re through. We are through to the next stage and that’s absolute. In truth, the team hasn’t been great in this tournament at all, just the Brondby home win to crow about, but a new boss and a new impetus might see a better display. And that two goal win will take us into European football beyond Xmas for sure.
There is of course the fourth condition, and the Conference League, which frankly we’d stand a slim chance of winning. Anyone can win that one, but let’s not go there just yet. But it’s a nice insurance policy as long as we don’t finish last in this group.
So there is a tonne to play for. Here’s hoping Gio and the fans are pleased with what the players produce tonight.