By Dan Carter

17th Sep, 2023 | 9:10pm

Rangers given boost ahead of Real Betis clash with Pellegrini focused on winning home games

Rangers could have received a boost ahead of their Europa League clash with Real Betis as Manuel Pellegrini has admitted his side are focused on winning their home games.

The Spanish club were trounced 5-0 by Barcelona on Saturday (16 September) and are in a defensive crisis having sold Luiz Felipe to Saudi Pro League side Al-Ittihad, with only three senior central defenders left in his side.

Despite it being a pretty damning defeat in Barcelona, Pellegrini hasn’t begun to panic and has insisted that he is entirely focused on getting results from their home matches, with his side travelling to Ibrox next Thursday (21 September).

Quoted by the Daily Record on Sunday (17 September) the former Manchester City boss said: “As I always say, if you can beat your teams at their own home, the better, but they are not the points that mark the season.

“A tough result. Losing 5-0 is of course not within what was expected, but that’s football.”

Rangers were far from their best in their win over St Johnstone, but they managed to find the goals to earn three points away from home and ensure Michael Beale would still be the man in charge for the Europa League opener against Betis.

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The Light Blues and Pellegrini’s side are the strongest teams in their Europa League group and while most would expect them to be the pair to progress into the knockout stages, if Rangers can start their European season in the right form they could ensure they have the advantage of finishing top of the group.

With teams dropping into Europe’s second-tier competition from the Champions League, finishing top of the group would help Beale’s side’s chances of progressing further into the competition and possibly matching their run to the final in the 2021/22 season.

Hopefully, Rangers can take advantage of the current state of the Betis backline and their lowly away form to have the perfect start to their Europa League campaign. A good performance would not only lift the qualification chances but also ease the pressure that’s still on Beale.

In other Rangers news, one pundit was left stunned by an incident in the Gers’ win over St Johnstone