Stuart Hodge reckons that Rangers have every reason to be optimistic of a successful campaign in Europe under Steven Gerrard this season.
How have Rangers fared in Europe previously?
The only blip Rangers have suffered in Europe under the guidance of Gerrard ironically came in their biggest test.
Following more than a decade out of the Champions League, their Scottish Premiership title meant they qualified for the competition for the first time since 2010-2011.
However, Gerrard’s side fell at the first hurdle after they were dumped out by Swedish outfit Malmo in the third qualifying round last month.
The Gers have fared far better in the Europa League, though. Since suffering an embarrassing first qualifying round exit back in 2017-2018, they have reached the group stages in each of the last three seasons, and the round of 16 in the last two before losing to Bayer Leverkusen and Slavia Prague respectively.
Rangers will now come up against Slavia’s rivals Sparta Prague in the group stages having been drawn alongside the Czech oufit, Lyon and Danish outfit Brondby.
They’ll no doubt be favourites to qualify from the group once again but must play far better than their opening four European games this season having won just once in four matches and narrowly squeezed past FC Alashkert in the play-off round.
Despite those sticky results, Hodge is confident the champions can enjoy another successful season in Europe.
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What did Hodge say about Rangers?
He told GIVEMESPORT: “They have every reason to be confident in any European game under Steven Gerrard. Even when the squad was competing for the title, they were doing respectably in Europe.
“So, I’m fascinated to see how the European campaign shapes out. I think both of the Scottish clubs stand a good chance of making history.”
How far can Rangers go?
Given Rangers’ recent history in Europe, anything less than reaching the knockout stage will be seen as a failure.
Both Lyon and Sparta Prague have European pedigree, but with a full house at Ibrox, Gerrard’s side will be targeting far more than making it out of the group.
It’s difficult to look further than the group stages right now, with teams yet to drop down from the Champions League, but the Ibrox faithful will be quietly excited about their European hopes.