Gerrard’s new-look Rangers face first test against KF Shkupi
After an impressive pre-season which saw them maul EFL side Bury 6-0 in front of a 41,000 strong crowd at Ibrox, the season proper begins tonight for Rangers. And with it, the start of the Steven Gerrard era.
The Gers are in Europa League action against Macedonian side KF Shkupi. Zekirija Ramadani’s men are in new territory, heading into their first ever European tie.
There are no familiar names in the Macedonian side’s ranks, though teenage pair Basilio Ndong and Mariano Ondo have international experience with Equatorial Guinea.
The new-look Gers have made six permanent signings this summer, as well as three loan deals. The biggest coup is arguably Scott Arfield, who impressed for Burnley in the Premier League.
Meanwhile, Jon Flanagan will be playing under former Liverpool teammate Gerrard. The full-back was a regular for the Reds during their impressive 2013-14 season, but has since fallen down the Anfield pecking order.
However, the man to make an impact in this one could be powerful Roma loanee Umar Sadiq. The hitman netted five times in 12 Eredivisie games at NAC Breda last term.
It seems likely to be a case of ‘how many’ tonight, and the odds make it 9/2 for a 4-0 victory, while another 6-0 Gers triumph at Ibrox is 11/1.
Tougher tests lie ahead for the Glasgow giants, and a triumph in this round would likely see them face Croatia’s Osijek (provided they see off Moldovan minnows Petrocub Hincesti).
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