The expectations of Rangers fans are rising as the club’s support demand immediate Ibrox payback for the £2.5m Champions League gift handed to Celtic.

The Parkhead side are set to rake in the eight-figure fee as a result of Rangers’ capitulation against PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands this week.

Whilst Rangers probably weren’t expected to overcome the talented Dutch side over two legs, the financial boost handed to Celtic has added insult to the injury of a devastatingly poor performance in Eindhoven.

Throw this in with Celtic working Rangers’ Euro coefficient ticket to the financial glory of Champions League football for two seasons on the bounce and the sentiment is one of huge frustration at Ibrox.

After the PSV humbling, Michael Beale spoke about having to reach the competition, and the millions that lie in wait, through winning the Scottish Premiership outright.

If ever there was an opportunity to show that Rangers have the Champions League cojones and, well, the cojones of Champions, it’s at Ibrox this afternoon.

Rangers v Celtic - Cinch Premiership
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

No excuses as Rangers look to dump Celtic at Ibrox

It’s not just the finances which have proven a boost to Celtic this week, with the Parkhead side buoyed by a momentum swing back in their favour.

But Rangers fans needn’t forget that only 24 hours before the devastation at PSV that Celtic’s house was aflame and Brendan Rodgers’ behind feeling the burn of the Parkhead hotseat.

This is a wounded Celtic who lack the fizz, fight and pizazz of Ange Postecoglou’s gung-ho, heavily financed squad and there is something missing there this season.

Brendan Rodgers is also a coach who is – objectively – on the decline, the Northern Irishman having all but taken Leicester from a Champions League side to relegation fodder and returned to Parkhead with his tail between his legs.

Rodgers’ appointment is a massive £9m gamble and Rangers can present a strong hand against him with victory at Ibrox.

UEFA Champions League Play-offs, 2nd legPSV Eindhoven v Rangers FC
Photo by ANP via Getty Images

Throw into the mix a defensive injury crisis and the fact that Celtic have rejected their ticket allocation for Ibrox, and suddenly Rangers probably emerge as favourites for this game.

From an Ibrox point of view, that Rangers squad must be highly motivated to put things right after Wednesday’s nonsense and – whisper it quietly – I believe they have it in them to do so.

There is no excuse for Rangers not going out and defeating Celtic at Ibrox and they couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to put some gloss on it.

Failure to do so will not be tolerated by a Gers support still reeling after gift wrapping their Old Firm rivals more Euro millions and missing out on a place at the continent’s top table.

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