By Azeem Siddiqui

2nd Aug, 2022 | 9:10am

Union Saint-Gilloise boss has Rangers as ‘favourite’ for UCL qualifying showdown

Union Saint-Gilloise head coach Karel Geraerts has stated that his team must be switched on if they want to get past Rangers in the Champions League third-round qualifiers.

Both teams will face off in the first leg of the tie on Tuesday [02 August] whereas the next round will be played on August 9.

Geraerts, while talking to the media ahead of the clash as quoted by Daily Record, suggested that the pressure will be on the Gers who according to him are the “favourites” for the clash.

“We’ve drawn Rangers in the qualifying stages, this is a big club,” he said. “The players may know them from the Play Station, they will know them from TV – but on Tuesday it’s up to them to get a result. I’m convinced they will play without fear or stage fright on the pitch.

“We must not forget we also have some players with international experience. Rangers are the favourites. They have more than us when you talk about budget, stadium, history.

“They’re a big team, so it’s up to them to handle that situation. For us, we’ll go on the field playing with our qualities, being proud to make a good game but showing all our respect to Rangers.”

Avoiding similar fate

It was at this stage last season when Rangers surprisingly failed to make it to the elite club competition in Europe after suffering a defeat to Malmo.

However, that result did not harm Rangers that much as they went on to play in the final of the Europa League where they suffered a defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Therefore, it is important for manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst to ensure that the Gers will not suffer a similar fate this time around.

To make things a little difficult, the club have already lost two key players Joe Aribo and Calvin Bassey. On top of that, they will also not have the services of winger Ryan Kent who has been ruled out of the clash due to an injury.

The news will definitely concern the Rangers fans but they will still be hoping that looking at their opponent, they should have enough quality to make it to the next round.

In other Rangers news, the captain has reacted to his brother’s big Premier League move on Twitter.