Rangers know all but one of their potential draw opponents for the Europa League knockouts as the Europa League Group A runners up prepare to face a Champions League drop-out.
This week has already seen European football’s elite competition group stage (almost) roll to an end as the Gers prepare to play their sixth and final Europa League group stage match.
In a revamped European footballing structure, the Europa League knockout round will now be reduced to 24 teams in lieu of the newly established UEFA Conference League.
However, Europa League group winners will be given a bye into the “Last 16” with the eight runners up and the eight Champions League drop-outs playing what is effectively a Playoff.
That means the Gers can look forward to welcoming someone who played in this Champions League to Ibrox – regardless of the Lyon result – and it’s something that should give this team a taste of what’s hopefully to come.
Rangers to draw Champions League drop-out in Europa League knockouts
Rangers are well used to this stage of the Europa League by now having qualified for it over the last three seasons and the Gers can potentially look forward to some exciting clashes.
Bundesliga side RB Leipzig joined familiar Portuguese foes FC Porto as well as German giants Borussia Dortmund and surprise Moldovan package Sheriff Tiraspol after Tuesday’s matches.
Spanish giants Barcelona are also a potential opponent after a 3-0 hammering to Bayern signed off a disappointing group stage, along with six-time record-holding winners Sevilla and Russian outfit Zenit St Petersburg, who defeated the Ibrox side in the 2008 UEFA Cup Final.
However, there remains one Champions League slot to be settled in the draw as Atalanta prepare to host Villarreal this evening.
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) December 8, 2021
This was after the Champions League clash between the Serie A side and last season’s competition winners was initially postponed due to heavy snowfall Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo.
Whoever Rangers draw in the next round it promises to be an intriguing clash with the knockout round draw to take place on Monday 13th December at 12pm GMT in Nyon, Switzerland.
Ahead of the club’s clash with Lyon at the Groupama Stadium, here’s how we’re backing the Ibrox side to line up.