Four things Rangers fans need to know about potential opponents FC Ufa

Four things Rangers fans need to know about potential opponents FC Ufa

The Europa League draw has revealed that Rangers could well be set for a case of deja vu if they can overcome Maribor and qualify for the play-off round.

A rematch with Luxembourgian outfit Progres Niederkorn, who knocked the Gers out of in the first qualifying round last season may well lie in wait.

However, Russian side FC Ufa stand in between them and a potential date with Rangers and they are the favourites to progress.

Rangers fans are reasonably familiar with Progres after last season’s debacle, but what about Ufa? We’ve picked out four things of interest…

1. The club was only formed in 2010

On 23 December 2010, was formed on the basis of FC Bashinformsvyaz-Dynamo Ufa, who played in the third tier at that stage and a new club was formed.

They played a match in the second round of the Russian Cup, losing in extra-time, before making their league bow on 24 April 2011 and they were promoted to the Russian First Division at the end of their first campaign.

2. They used to be managed by Andrei Kanchelskis

11 Aug 1998: Andrei Kanchelskis of Rangers celebrates during the UEFA Cup qualifying match against Paok Salonika at the Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow, Scotland. Rangers won the match 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Clive Brunskill/Allsport

The former Rangers winger was the club’s first manager, before he departed the club in 2012, which provides an unlikely connection between the two clubs.

That is one of four management jobs the 49-year-old has held, but he has not been in the dugout since leaving Solyaris Moscow in 2016.

3. Emmanuel Frimpong used to play for the club

KHIMKI, RUSSIA – NOVEMBER 29: Emmanuel Frimpong of FC Ufa in action during the Russian Premier League match between PFC CSKA Moscow and FC Ufa at the Arena Khimki Stadium on November 29, 2014 in Khimki, Russia. (Photo by Epsilon/Getty Images)

The former Arsenal, Wolves and Fulham midfielder also enjoyed a two-year spell with the Russian outfit between 2014 and 2016, making 25 league appearances in that time.

He made headlines on his debut when he was dismissed after just 31 minutes for making an obscene gesture at a Spartak Moscow supporter, who was allegedly giving him racial abuse.

The midfielder called the two-match ban handed to him for the incident a ‘joke’ and left the club in April 2016.

4. This is their first season in European football

Perhaps unsurprisingly for such a new club, this is Ufa’s first ever European campaign – which is in stark contrast to Rangers’ pedigree.

That inexperience could show over two legs with the Europa League proper in sight, but that fearlessness and excitement could also prove to be a dangerous concoction.