By Adefunmiloye Alani

14th Sep, 2021 | 3:10pm

Xherdan Shaqiri insists Rangers have real quality ahead of Lyon clash

Rangers host Lyon when the group stages of the Europa League kick off on Thursday and Xherdan Shaqiri has warned his new teammates at the Ligue 1 club.

The Switzerland international attacker joined Lyon from Liverpool in the summer and he reckons facing the Scottish Premiership champions would prove to be a tricky test.

Moussa Dembele-led Lyon will be looking to prove their quality against Rangers, and Shaqiri is looking forward to the Ibrox showdown.

“Rangers and their stadium is known and I don’t think we can expect an easy evening,” the Champions League winner said (via The Daily Record).

“The atmosphere will be intense – but it doesn’t do them justice to just talk about the intensity of the fans

“Rangers are champions, they have some real quality, and it will be a big test for us.

“We started the season slowly but now we are finding the way we want to play and feel confident.”

Tough test

Lyon are yet to get up to speed domestically, with just two wins to their name in five Ligue 1 games, but they remain heavy favourites ahead of their trip to Rangers.

They secured a 3-1 win over Strasbourg at the weekend, with Dembele and Jason Denayer both finding the back of the net, and the ex-Celtic duo will be relishing the chance to hurt an old enemy again.

Steven Gerrard’s men have an injury crisis at the back, with Leon Balogun the only available centre-back for selection at the moment, and that could make things trickier for the hosts.

Lyon won fancy their chances against a full-strength Rangers side given their quality, and playing against a depleted line-up is an added boost.

The Light Blues will be giving it their all as usual regardless of who is available or not, and getting even a draw on Thursday night would be seen as a commendable result.

In other Rangers news, Bears handed boost as PL club makes transfer decision ahead of January transfer window.