Former Rangers and Red Star midfielder Dragan Mladenovic admits he would prefer the first leg of the Europa League clash between the sides was played in Belgrade rather than Glasgow as he warned the Serbian side’s stars to prepare for a “hellish” atmosphere at Ibrox.

Mladenovic, who works as Academy boss at Red Star, had a brief spell at Ibrox in the mid 2000s spending a year at the club under Alex McLeish.

Rangers red star europa league ibrox
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Rangers welcome Red Star to Ibrox on Thursday night with the Gers looking to take the lead ahead of the return next week in Serbia.

While Mladenovic knows exactly what Ibrox can be like, he insisted that there’s “nowhere” the Red Star players have played that can be compared – although he insists nothing will be ‘resolved’ in the last 16 clash.

“I would rather we played the first game in Belgrade,” Mladenovic said [Scottish Sun]. They would be scared of a full Marakana!

“But Red Star players must know that nowhere where they have played so far can be compared to the hellish atmosphere that will await them at Ibrox.

“When you play in Glasgow, it is important to be psychologically ready, because the atmosphere is fantastic. The fans are closer to the players and they are passionate. They love their club.

“When the game is in the evening, they also come under the influence of alcohol!

“If Red Star cope with the speed of Rangers’ players and the pressure from the stands, they will have a chance. But nothing will be resolved in Glasgow.”

Meanwhile, Rangers could benefit from major format changes in the UEFA Champions League from season 2024/2025.

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