Rangers fans are getting excited at the prospect of a special mid-season friendly with Uzbekistani outfit Lokomotiv Tashkent as they train in Dubai.
The Ibrox side have previously announced their intentions to use the state-of-the-art Nad al Sheba Sports Complex during the Scottish winter break.
Rangers will face off against Tashkent as they look to build match fitness going into the second half of the season, but will the friendly will be tinged with disappointment for some?
🆚 #RangersFC has today confirmed an international friendly match with the Uzbekistani Super League champions, Lokomotiv Tashkent, in Dubai on Saturday 11th January 2020: https://t.co/MXnFRnNlt2 pic.twitter.com/71hFVuNO9K
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) January 2, 2020
Earlier in the season there was a suggestion from club insiders that Rangers were trying to secure a friendly with old European allies Hamburg [Four Lads Had a Dream].
Rangers fans are very familiar with HSV and since Glaswegian workers travelled to the German port city in the 70s there has been a strong bond between the two clubs.
But any supporters of either side who were getting excited by the news may need to wait for the next meeting between the two clubs.
It’s a relationship which is regularly heralded on both sides of the continent and whilst the friendly may not have happened this time around, you suspect it won’t be too long before the clubs get together again.
The last time the two sides faced each other was back in 2011, when Hamburg defeated Rangers 2-1 at the Volksparkstadion.
A certain Son Heung-min scored the winner for Hamburg after Thomas Kind Bendiksen had equalised for Rangers.
Tashkent tie in Dubai heat about not getting caught cold
Lokomotiv Tashkent present an interesting alternative to the German giants and they currently sit 2nd in the Uzbekistan Premier Football League.
Rangers are staging the friendly as they look to learn from last season’s pre-season mistakes, where the club was literally caught cold by the fixtures starting up again in late January.
Rangers’ Scottish Cup tie with Cowdenbeath had to be rescheduled due to a frozen pitch and the club’s first game in over a month was at Rugby Park.
Steven Gerrard’s side infamously never recovered in the title race from the 2-1 defeat to Killie and the rest is history.
“We hope to deal with coming back after the winter break better than we did last year,” said Gerrard [Four Four Two].
“The weather had an effect as we didn’t have a game going into the Kilmarnock match. So we’ve prepared for that slightly differently this year.
“During our warm-weather break we will play a game just in case there is any weather situation with the Stranraer game in the Scottish Cup.
“Hopefully when we go back to league form we’ll be in a better place.”
Rangers’ warm-weather training camp in Dubai is due to take place between January 6th to January 12th, with the Tashkent match taking place on the 11th.