By Adefunmiloye Alani

6th Sep, 2021 | 3:10pm

Nigel Spackman tips Rangers for glory against Lyon in Europa League

Rangers start their Europa League campaign by hosting Ligue 1 side Lyon on September 16, and they will be facing a familiar foe in Moussa Dembele.

The French hitman was a constant thorn in the flesh for the Bears while at Celtic, and he will be looking forward to wreaking havoc on his return to Ibrox.

Former Rangers skipper Nigel Spackman believes Steven Gerrard’s side can come out tops against Lyon if they can manage to keep the 25-year-old quiet.

He said (via Daily Record): “Lyon might be top seeds in the group but I don’t think they are anything to fear. They’ve not started the season particularly well. Dembele has become their main goal-scorer now after being sent out on loan to Atletico Madrid last season.

“He’s obviously going to want to come back and haunt Rangers again, like he did so many times in a Celtic shirt. But if Rangers can keep him and Aouar out of the game, then they have a great chance of winning.

“The back four are key. [Filip] Helander has played very well this season and gives them a nice balance on the left of the central defence.

“Dembele has pace and an eye for goal. They have to be switched on to that for a whole 90 minutes. If they do, Rangers will come out on top.”

Familiar threat

Dembele left Celtic for Lyon in 2018 but Rangers fans would not have forgotten him yet given his impact in the Old Firm games.

The striker played in eight games against the Light Blues, scoring seven goals and assisting another four.

While the Ibrox outfit have improved immensely since then, Dembele has continued to impress in France and remains a lethal finisher as ever.

Rangers were impressive at the back last term, shipping 13 goals and keeping 26 clean sheets in 38 league games.

However, the Premiership champions have struggled defensively this term, and they will need to be on top of their game to have a chance of keeping Dembele quiet.

Starting their European campaign with a victory against a tough opponent will be huge, but the Frenchman always has a point to prove against his eternal rivals, and Rangers’ chances of getting a result will largely depend on how much they can limit the influence of the Lyon striker.

In other Rangers news, international manager is wowed by what Bears sensation did on Saturday.