By Callum O'Connell

17th Sep, 2023 | 8:10pm

Neil McCann shares Rangers prediction for Europa League ahead of clash v Real Betis

Neil McCann has given his prediction for Rangers’ Europa League clash with Real Betis, claiming it will be a good opportunity for the Glasgow side to get a foothold in the group.

The former Gers winger claimed that if they can secure all three points against their Spanish opponents, it will set them up nicely to make it out of the group stage and into the knockout rounds.

He also claimed getting knocked out of the Champions League by PSV would be a positive, as he doesn’t believe they were quite ready for that level of competition and may fare better in the Europa League.

McCann was speaking via BBC Sportscene [1:13:36] on 16 September, where he claimed: “I think the Champions League [defeat to PSV] was probably the right thing to happen to Rangers.

“Had they gone into the Champions League I think it might have been another sore one for them, I don’t think they were ready for that.

“This competition [the Europa League] has been good to them in the past and I think the Betis game will provide them an opportunity just to get a foothold in the group, and once they do that I think it’s a group they can come out of.”

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

A must-win game already

What should have been a relatively trivial opening group game in the Europa League has already turned into a must-win clash for Rangers and Michael Beale thanks to the pressure that has ramped up on the Englishman after the last few results.

As McCann said, getting all three points on the opening day against their strongest competition in the group would give Gers a huge boost, which would set them up nicely to go on and progress from the group.

After a tricky start to the season, Rangers will be looking to make it as far in the Europa League as possible, and potentially even push beyond Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side that were defeated in Seville via a penalty shootout just two seasons ago.

A loss in this game, particularly if it’s a heavy one, could be a devastating blow to Beale’s Ibrox career, so a win will do wonders for him as well as his side as he looks to ease the pressure over his job.

In other Rangers news, one BBC journalist has issued his verdict on Beale’s job pressure.