Rangers will make their return to the Champions League later this summer when they try and reach the Group Stage by making it through two qualifying rounds – and the Gers’ have a much clearer picture of who they could end up facing.
Steven Gerrard’s side have impressed in Europe in recent season and will now get the rewards of that with an extended break before getting started on August 3/4.
The Light Blues enter at the Third Qualifying Round and will be one of the seeded sides when the draw takes place in July.
That sees the Gers avoid some very difficult opponents but there is still the potential for a tough draw for the Scottish champions.
If they do make it to the Playoff round, Gerrard’s side would be unseeded, leaving them with a potential clash against the likes of RB Salzburg, Slavia Prague or Olympiakos.
While the Gers’ possible Third Round opponents aren’t quite set in stone yet, assuming the highest-ranked sides based on coefficient come through the earlier rounds, there is a much clearer picture.
Here’s who Rangers could likely end up facing in the Third Qualifying Round of the Champions League:
The Bulgarian champions still have one more game left to play in their league campaign but are ten points clear and comfortable winners.
This season’s title win was their tenth in a row, earning them congratulations from FIFA president Gianni Infantino.
34-year-old Romanian Claudiu Keseru has hit the net 19 times this season, and is the top goalscorer for Valdas Dambrauskas’ side.
Ludogorets play at the 10422-capacity Huvepharma Arena on the outskirts of Razgrad.
Malmo won the 2020 Swedish title by nine points to book their place in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League and are no strangers to the Gers.
Ally McCoist’s side were knocked out in qualifying a decade ago in the Gers’ last attempt at reaching the group stages.
Former Newcastle star Jon Dahl Tomasson manages the Swedes who play at the 22500-capacity Eleda Stadion.
Another side Rangers are familiar with after beating them in the Playoff round of the Europa League in 2019/20.
Legia won the title by five points and will be looking for revenge against the Light Blues if they are drawn together.
Czech star Tomas Pekhart is the Pole’s biggest threat while ex-Celtic keepre Arthur Boruc is once again a Legia player.
Rangers fans could be heading to the wonderfully named Marshall Józef Piłsudski’s Municipal Stadium of Legia Warsaw which holds 31800.
Rangers have never played the Romanian champions but they have come up against Old Firm rivals Celtic a couple of times in recent years.
The 23500-capacity Stadionul Dr. Constantin Rădulescu in Transylvania could play host to Rangers fans later this summer if the sides are drawn to face each other.
Cluj won the Romanian title by six points from nearest rivals FCSB and are managed by Edward Iordănescu.
Sheriff were the runaway winners in the Moldovan’s league, finishing the season 16 points clear of rivals Petrocub. and play in a country that doesn’t technically exist (Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic)
Playing at the 12746-capacity Sheriff Stadium, Yuriy Vernydub’s side would be looking to cause a big upset if drawn against the Gers.
Sheriff are regulars in the early rounds of the Champions League, winning the Moldovan title 18 times and lifting 10 Cups since their formation in 1997.
Such is the state of the Moldovan league system thanks to the massive spending of Sheriff compared to their rivals, it has been branded a “sham.”