Rangers host La Liga heavyweights Villareal in a crucial Europa League clash tonight at Ibrox, and after securing a 2-2 draw at Spain, the Scottish side will be looking to finally get the better of their opponents at home.
A victory will massively boost the Light Blues’ chances of advancing to the knockout stages, and given how impressive they have been thus far in Europe – losing just once – nothing can be ruled out.
Manager Steven Gerrard is hoping the fans can cheer his side to much-needed victory tonight, and he believes Rangers have now earned respect in group G – which also consists of Rapid Wien and Spartak Moscow.
“When this group was drawn I thought that Villarreal and Spartak Moscow would have been very happy getting Rangers,” the Gers boss told The Scottish Sun.
“But I think we have now earned respect in this group.
“What we hear coming out of the opposition camps is they know what they are in for. That’s credit to my players. Their performances have made people respect coming here.”
Only a point separates group leaders Villareal from Rangers and the Russian side, while bottom-placed Wien are also just trailing the duo by a point.
It’s a very open group as far as securing a last-32 berth goes, and Rangers will be giving their all in the last two games.
Progressing to the next round will also help boost the club’s coffers ahead of the January transfer window, and the quality of players signed during the winter could make a huge difference across all competitions going forward this season.