Monaco among possible Champions League QR3 opponents for Rangers
Rangers found out which teams they could face in the Champions League third qualifying round after the competition drew its first two rounds.
Rangers will have to wait until mid-July to find out who they will face in the penultimate qualifier, with a knockout round still to come if Rangers can navigate it.
But after the QR2 draw Rangers will face Midtjylland/AEK Larnaca, Monaco, Sturm Graz or Belgian side Union Saint-Gilloise in QR3, with Ligue 1 side Monaco the clear name fans will want to avoid.
Rangers are seeded for the draw and therefore will not face Benfica or PSV Eindhoven, with the club also avoiding Fenerbahce after drawing against Dynamo Kyiv.
Rangers were still going to avoid the winner of Kyiv’s draw as the Ukrainians are seeded.
Rangers need to step up Champions League qualification
The clashes are all winnable, but it shows the scale of the challenge Rangers face in reaching the land of milk and honey in the Champions League.
Gers missed out on automatic qualification for the main tournament despite all their hard work in European competition by obediently handing over the league to Celtic.
A lack of focus, concentration and commitment cost the club dearly as they squandered points against total slag and allowed Celtic to stay within contact distance and gain composure in the second half of the game. season.
While the club have managed to reach the Europa League final, an extraordinary feat in itself, the pressure is on the players and the board to deliver Champions League football.
Not only was the league campaign disappointing, but so was last season’s Champions League qualifying effort.
The Rangers players let the club down badly in Ibrox’s 10-man loss to Malmö and it’s up to them to show their full focus and ready to compete.
But there is also mega scrutiny within the Rangers board to provide the quality signings that Steven Gerrard felt the club lacked to take that next step last season.
There is mounting pressure behind this and Rangers need to take the challenge much more seriously than they seemed last season and deliver the wealth and prestige of Champions League qualification.
Meanwhile, a top Rangers star has dropped a major hint about his plans for the future amid serious links elsewhere.