By support

20th Jun, 2018 | 3:04pm

Rangers face second trip to Balkans after Europa League draw

Rangers will face CS Petrocub of Moldova or Croatia’s NK Osijek in the second round of Europa League qualifying – if they can get by Macedonians FK Shpuki in the first qualifying round.

Steven Gerrard’s side’s fate was confirmed by UEFA on their official website after Wednesday afternoon’s draw in Nyon leaving them facing two trips to the Balkan peninsula.

The Light Blues lost in the first round last season to Luxembourg’s Progres Niederkorn as Pedro Caixinha’s side were humiliated by the minnows.

Petrocub’s tiny Stadionul Municipal in Hîncești only holds 1000 fans while Osijek’s Stadion Gradski has room for over 18,000 fans.

The second qualifying round ties are scheduled for July 26th and August 2nd

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NK Osijek are the likely winners of their first round tie meaning the Light Blues will probably find themselves heading to Croatia. Osijek finished fourth in the Croatian league last season and will provide a tough test for Gerrard’s side if they can make it through to the next round. Moldova and Croatia will be difficult places for the Gers to go and deal with the climate. The defeat at the hands of Progres Niederkorn still looms large over the Gers and doing well in Europe this seaSon will be important for the Light Blues. Gerrard’s side will have a week between the first and second round ties so won’t have much scope to bring new bodies in between rounds. With ambitions of making the group stages, this will be a good test for the Gers ahead of the start of the Scottish Premiership campaign shortly afterwards.

In other Rangers transfer news, Steven Gerrard has revealed the Gers ‘love’ this Ibrox star.

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