Steven Gerrard’s Rangers under-20s can now look forward to an exciting evening next week.
Thanks to Rangers manager Gerrard, a match has now been set-up at some stage next week between the under-20s and Spartak Moscow’s youth team. The match will make for a terrific spectacle ahead of the senior side facing the Russians next Thursday night.
Rangers under-20s have previous in facing high-quality opposition from Europe too. Over the last year, they’ve beaten Bayern Munich, Leicester City, and FC Copenhagen. This really could be a special batch of talent in Rangers’ ranks. They’ll therefore be looking to add Spartak Moscow to that list of impressive European wins.
Spartak confirmed in a statement that this match was to go ahead, but a time or date wasn’t specified. The wording of the statement suggests that the game will be held on Thursday afternoon.
The only thing they did confirm, however, was that Gerrard was the instigator.
“We will bring our youth team to play a game in Glasgow and then the players will go to Ibrox for the game at night. Rangers have also agreed to bring a youth team to Moscow.
“The instigator for these games between the youth sides is Steven Gerrard, the manager of Rangers. Last season, he brought his Liverpool team to Moscow to play a friendly and insisted his Rangers team meet us again.”
Taking the initiative
This is a great idea by the Rangers manager for a match that wasn’t originally set up. Getting the under-20s to experience European opposition at Ibrox can help to set them up for the real thing. Of course, the attendance won’t be as high as the first-team matches, or anywhere close to it.
Rangers, however, are seriously impressing at under-20 level. The likes of Serge Atakayi, Andrew Dallas, and Stephen Kelly are all breaking through nicely at this stage. The match against Spartak will just give them another opportunity to impress Gerrard and Graeme Murty.
The match will of course only be a friendly. The Europa League doesn’t have an equivalent of the UEFA Youth League. That’s a competition where those whose senior sides qualify for the Champions League can enter. Therefore, not having that leaves the under-20s with no opponents before European matches.
Thankfully, Gerrard has decided to rectify that at Ibrox when Moscow come to town. It remains to be seen if anything becomes scheduled involving the under-20s or future Europa League fixtures.