With their Europa League playoff clash in Thursday night, we take a look at who Ufa are and what to expect from them.

Steven Gerrard’s men have disposed of Shkupi, Osijek, and Maribor in the previous three rounds. However, looking at the unknown Russians as a walkover would be extremely dangerous.

Ufa are a new club. Formed in 2010, they are the result of a local side who dissolved and reformed. Their growth since has been staggering to say the least.

Andrei Kanchelskis spent a year at Ufa (Michael Steele /Allsport)

It took the newly-formed club just three years to reach the Russian Premier Division. Former Ranger Andrei Kanchelskis spent a year in charge before leaving after failing to qualify for the first division in the club’s infancy.

Their manager these days is Sergei Tomorov. At just 36-years-old he leads the club on its first ever European venture. So far, Ufa have knocked out Domzale and Progres Niederkorn.

However, who are the main men Rangers should watch out for? They shouldn’t look any further than Sylvester Igboun and Ivan Paurevic.

The main men

Nigeria have capped Igboun on six occasions. A tricky winger, he has pace and terrific ball-control. He doesn’t particularly have an eye for goal, with just 15 goals in 78 appearances. However, he has been at the club for its duration in the Russian Premier League, and is a solid customer.

Ivan Paurevic is a commanding presence (Epsilon/Getty Images)

Paurevic spent a failed season on loan at Huddersfield. However, the big German is a machine in the midfield. Using his physique to dominate opponents, Paurevic can be a threatening sight to the opposition. He’s also Ufa’s main set-piece taker with a terrific delivery and shot on him when he gets room.

Bokan Jokic is also considered to be one of the best left-backs in Russia, whilst goalkeeper Alexandr Belanov has been known to win Ufa matches with stunning shot-stopping.

Ufa have also been using a five-man defence for several years. They like to play in a fluid 5-3-2 formation, but are likely to switch it back to 5-4-1 at Ibrox.

Rangers have been used to breaking down packed defences since Gerrard walked in the door. However, underestimating these over-achievers would be a huge mistake.

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