A Dutch referee has been appointed by UEFA for Rangers’ crunch Europa League Group A fixture against Sparta Prague.

The Gers are taking on the Czech giants at Ibrox in a 20:00 kick-off on Thursday, and are hoping to secure second spot in the group.

Rangers

Rangers fans will be out in force for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s first game in charge. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

If they can win by two clear goals on the night and Brondby fail to defeat Lyon in Denmark, Rangers will officially be through to the preliminary knockout round with a game to spare.

It’s a big fixture for new manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst to come into the dugout for but he was in confident mood during his press conference on Wednesday.

The former Netherlands international will be hoping for a strong performance from an all-Dutch team of match officials.

Danny Makkelie has been appointed as the referee [UEFA].

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Danny Makkelie has been appointed referee for Rangers vs Sparta Prague. (Photo by Rene Nijhuis/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

It will be the 38-year-old whistler’s first Europa League game of the season, but he was on duty at Euro 2020 during the summer and has already taken charge of three Champions League group stage matches this campaign.

 

Across those three fixtures, he dished out a whopping 16 yellow cards and sent two players off – one was shown a straight red and the other received two bookings [Transfermarkt].

Interestingly, though, in 18 matches across all competitions so far this season, he’s yet to award a penalty.

Makkelie’s asssitants on the night will be Hessel Steegstra and Jan de Vries, while Joey Kooij will be the fourth official and Pol van Boekel is on Video Assistant Referee duty with Jochem Kamphuis assisting him.

Should Alfredo Morelos or Fashion Sakala pick up a yellow card, they would be suspended for the final group match against Lyon.

The fixture is set to be shown on BT Sport but the coverage will be based elsewhere on the night.

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