And so, as we know, Swiss cracks Servette will be Rangers’ opponent in the Champions League third round.
This is going to be heck of a tough ask – Ibrox Noise called wrong the outcome of Genk v the Swiss side – looking at the quality of the squads, the Belgians looked to be much the superior side, and the first leg left them as massive favourites.
But a superb performance from a 10-man Servette (inside 3 minutes) who even lost their captain Bryan Heynen as well to injury inside 8 minutes secured a draw in Belgium, then a penalty shoot-out win.
We, like possibly a spot of Genk too, were guilty of underestimating Servette a little, and that’s deeply perilous in the Champions League, especially at this banana skin qualifying stage.
At this early stage of the domestic season in Switzerland Servette have made a solid start, with a win and a draw meaning they’re comfortable in second place.
And they finished second last season only to the enduring Young Boys, the traditional kings of Switzerland.
Servette will be tough, infinitely tougher than we realised, with a far, far better domestic league than anticipated.
Scotland thanks solely to Rangers are 9th best league in Europe, but Switzerland, thanks to YB, Basel, Servette and Lugano are very solidly in 11th place in the same list. In short, their league has a better spready of quality than ours – Rangers the only side to have an ounce of Euro standing. All the rest are nowhere. Just ask Hibs who will pray they can overturn the embarrassment of that first leg in Andorra.
We’d say this is on a par with Union Saint last season – a slightly unfancied side from a strong domestic league who are capable of springing an upset. More than.
Rangers have the European reputation these days from Sevilla, even if the UCL campaign undermined it, but Servette have the element of surprise, and they sure surprised Genk.
We will have a real battle on our hands, and that defence will be absolutely put to its toughest possible test this early in the season.