Rangers starting out in Belgium

GVB confident Rangers can handle the pressure

The third qualifying round of the Champions League gets under way on Tuesday, with Rangers travelling to Union Saint-Gilloise on their quest to end their absence from the group stage. (Match betting – Union SG 8/5, draw 11/5, Rangers 17/10).

As runners-up in last season’s Scottish Premiership, Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men enter the competition two rounds away from the group stage.

Elsewhere, the powerhouses of Monaco and PSV Eindhoven meet at the Stade Louis II, while last season’s surprise package Sheriff Tiraspol host Viktoria Plzen.

Meanwhile, Benfica must avoid a potential banana skin in their hosting of Midtjylland, while Dinamo Zagreb round off the line-up with a trip to Ludogorets.

Not since the 2010/11 season have the Gers appeared in the group stage; draws against Manchester United and Valencia saw then earn passage to the Europa League as a third-place finisher that year.

May’s bruising encounter in the final of that very event – a penalty shoot-out loss against Eintracht Frankfurt – will have left the Ibrox faithful hungrier than ever to retake their place among the European top dogs come September.

Champions League Betting Odds

Rangers’ never-say-die attitude brought them out of a tight spot against Livingston this weekend, in Saturday’s Scottish Premiership curtain-raiser.

Behind in the fifth minute, the away side persevered and turned the tide with two goals in three minutes towards the latter end of the second half – including a stellar free-kick from James Tavernier.

Their hosts on Tuesday evening are two matches into their league season – a 1-0 home win over Charleroi made amends for a first-day draw at Sint-Truidense, a mid-table outfit last term.

If the Gers do hold out against the Belgian champions over two legs, their path to the group stage becomes no less arduous; PSV or Monaco await the victors in the play-off round. (Match betting – Monaco 23/20, draw 5/2, PSV 21/10).

Though Saturday brought the high of a 5-3 win over Ajax in the Dutch Super Cup, fatigue may play a part for PSV as they travel to the Mediterranean, where their hosts are gearing up for their first competitive outing of the season.

Football Betting Odds

Author: Lucas Carlson