Gerrard can take solace in previous results at often difficult Stadion Ljudski
Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Gerrard can take solace in previous results at often difficult Stadion Ljudski

Rangers v Maribor isn’t exactly a new fixture on the European stage.

In fact, the most-times Slovenian Champions (14) are pretty familiar with Scottish teams all together. They’ve knocked out Aberdeen, Celtic and of Rangers over the course of the last decade.

Rangers knocked them out once too (2001). A Tore Andre Flo goal and Claudio Cannigia double saw off Maribor at Ibrox in a 3-0 win after the Norwegian had scored a brace and set up Christian Nerlinger in the match at Stadion Ljudski. That tie was 6-1 on aggregate.

It’s unlikely the away tie will be quite so straight forward this time.

The last time we faced them in a Champions League qualifier (2011) we were knocked out 3-2 over two legs.

Maribor went through 3-2 on aggregate after a 1-1 draw at Ibrox. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

But it was the first leg at the Stadion Ljudski which was the defining fixture.

Maribor came from behind to pip Rangers 2-1 in Slovenia before forcing a score-draw at Ibrox a week later.

Rangers had originally went ahead through Juan Manuel Ortiz (yes, that blast from the past) in the first half. Despite a valiant effort from the Ibrox club, Rangers went down to a last minute Etien Velikonja backheel after Agim Ibraimi has levelled early in the second.

Historically, it’s a difficult place to go for Scottish clubs. But that time Rangers didn’t boast a 3-1 advantage.

Gerrard can also take solace in the fact his old club Liverpool dismantled them 7-0 in the Stadion Ljudski vrt last season.

Could Steven Gerrard lean on this result from his old team last season? (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

After a superb performance last Thursday, Rangers are in prime position to qualify. That will happen if they handle the pressure of the tie and the volatile atmosphere. Gerrard is also unlikely to mess too much with his first team.

It’s not an easy place to go, but even a result which matches that in 2011 is enough to help Rangers get through. Play like Thursday and we might just get a better one than that.

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