After a disastrous Champions League campaign this season, Rangers will get another shot at Europe’s big guns in 2023/24.
What seemed like years ago, when Giovanni van Bronckhorst saw off Union Saint Gilloise and PSV Eindhoven – who both went on to have decent Europa League campaigns – Rangers will have to overcome two teams to make the group stages.
Rangers have been tipped to succeed again by data analyst site @swissfootdata who has compiled the list of teams who are expected to make it into the group stages and, surprisingly, we are near the top of pot three.
The Ibrox outfit currently sit 31st in UEFA’s club coefficient list calculated over the last five years with Celtic languishing in 57th.
This means that Rangers will jump from pot four to pot three if the clubs qualify according to current league positions and UEFA rankings.
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The Champions League efforts this season might have been a disaster but points were still, thankfully, picked up by Rangers in the qualifying and play-off rounds.
Champions League qualification will need Rangers to get lucky
Surely, if Michael Beale was to successfully navigate his side to the promised land we wouldn’t be so unlucky again.
Not only was it the hardest group possible but we then had to face an injury crisis that saw Gio forced into playing Leon King and James Sands as his centre-half pairing and Scott Arfield and Steven Davis start against Liverpool.
Not the spine that the Gers gaffer would have imagined at the beginning of the season.
The team that beat PSV over two legs would have faired considerably better had they not all been in the treatment room.
There will still be a core of players who played in last season’s competition but Michael Beale will have to rebuild quickly and get any new additions up to speed.
Even long term absentees Tom Lawrence and Kemar Roofe – who is doing everything he can to get fit – might not be back in time but there is exactly the sort of quality that we need if we are to join Celtic in the groups.
If we don’t qualify for the Champions League, at least the safety net of the Europa League is waiting for Rangers, but the last thing we need is to concede another £30m to our city rivals.
Hopefully the boffins have got it right and lady luck is on our side for once.