Rangers FC have learned their fate in the group stage of the Europa League, and the Scottish giants should be smiling.
Rangers FC are enjoying success on all fronts as they sit at the top of the Scottish Premiership with 23 points through nine games, and have reached the group stage of the Europa League after defeating Galatasaray at Ibrox last night.
Steven Gerrard’s men faced some good competition in Willem II and Galatasaray to get to this stage of the competition, but they did a phenomenal job of staying focused and taking the game to their opponents.
The Light Blues landed in Group D, which is composed of Benfica (Portugal), Standard Liege (Belgium), and Lech Poznan (Poland).
Rangers were fortunate to have been placed in one of the most lenient groups in the tournament. The same cannot be said for rivals Celtic, though, as Neil Lennon must prepare his side for some big clashes against AC Milan, Lille, and Sparta Praha.
Celtic fans should not expect much success in that group, but the Bears should hold their club to high standards.
Looking at the talent in every squad in Group D, there is no reason why Rangers should not push for the top spot, and they are certainly capable of fulfilling that objective.
The ultimate goal is to ensure a top two finish to advance to the next round, but Ryan Kent, Alfredo Morelos, James Tavernier, and Borna Barisic can carry this team through the group stage.
Benfica will present Rangers with the greatest challenge due to the quality they boast across the pitch, and their track record in the tournament as a two-time finalist (2013, 2014) will make them even more dangerous.
Standard Liege and Lech Poznan are good teams, but with collective discipline and urgency, Rangers should take the necessary points from them.
Thus far, Steven Gerrard must be thrilled with the way his team has performed at the continental level. Gers handled business against inferior opposition early on, and displayed equally impressive football against more seasoned opponents.
The same approach will be needed against the aforementioned teams if they wish to advance to the knock-out stage.