Rangers, a resurgent force under Steven Gerrard, failed to knock down their famous rivals Celtic at Ibrox before the international break. But the defeat does not take away their success story in Europe as the Gers have made it through to the group stages of the Europa League on back to back occasions.
However, they are once again expecting a tricky test abroad being drawn alongside Porto, Feyenoord and Young Boys. All three have exhibited their expertise in the European competitions, and the Bears star Andy Halliday has Champions League vibes ahead of their midweek encounter against Feyenoord.
“To be honest, I am delighted with the group that we have got. It is a bit of a Champions League group and the objective was to get into the group stages this year because you want to play these kinds of fixtures. It is a big test for us but we have been tested before in the Europa League and stood up to it.”
The Scotsman is confident (as cited by the Daily Record) of putting up a fight against the Dutch heavyweights. Jaap Stam’s men are struggling in Eredivisie, but the contest will be electrifying when Gerrard face off the ex-AC Milan centre-half for the first time since the epic 2005 Champions League final.
Why Halliday Should Keep His Place Ahead Of Barisic
Halliday was handed his maiden league start this season against Livingston. The 27-year-old midfielder has been utilised as a makeshift left-back since the previous campaign. And the experience, as well as the flexibility he offers, saw Halliday getting the nod ahead of Borna Barisic on Saturday afternoon.
Feyenoord are a superior force from an excellent league and therefore, are expected to go for all three points at Ibrox on Thursday night. The defensive work rate should be prioritised, and the gaffer must prefer him over the Croatian to inject more depth in the defensive third.
The Dutch outfit, meanwhile, have an array of experienced names in their ranks. Leroy Fer and Luciano Narsingh hold Premier League experience and the pair must be high on confidence having found the net against Den Haag on Sunday. They will be functional from the Gers’ left flank which is supposed to be their weak link and Halliday should stay alert to resist the threats if he keeps hold of his place after impressing against Livi, particularly in the second half of the game.
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