After stumbling in the last two matches against Moscow Rangers Europa League future hangs in the balance.
It’s difficult to recall such a tight group in Europe with two games to spare. Following Villarreal and Rapid Vienna’s 0-0 draw in Austria, two points separate top from bottom in Group G. Villarreal have six, we’re tied on five with Spartak (who lead us H2H) and Vienna have four.
With massive matches against Villarreal and Rapid Vienna to come, Rangers’ fate is still very much in their hands.
But going into the final game in Vienna, will the Rapid Spartak result in Moscow the same night still have a massive role to play?
We must go for it against Spanish moneyspinners Villarreal
Considering where we were only a year ago, it’s incredible to think that we can take maximum points off Villarreal.
Make no mistake, we can. And if we’re to make it out of this group, we might have to. We already showed them up in Spain, but they’ll be a much more settled side at Ibrox.
But should Rangers stumble on November 29th in our game with the group favourites, the Spartak and Vienna result could have a huge bearing on our prospects.
Lose or draw that game – against a Villarreal team that spent upwards of £70m in the Summer – and we’ll be up against it. Especially if Spartak win.
On matchday six we’d then be relying on the Russians to either beat or hold Villarreal in Spain to go through. We’d also need to rely on three points on what is proving a challenging trip to Vienna for the other teams in the group.
We have to go for it against Villarreal. It’ll be a huge occasion at Ibrox and there’s no reason why we can’t take three points off them.
But if we can’t do it on the night, we’ll need to hope Spartak and Vienna play out a draw in the Luzhniki.
Rangers Europa League future might just rest on it.