Rangers find out first competitive opponents for Steven Gerrard after EL draw
Rangers have been drawn against Macedonian side FK Shkupi in the first round of qualifying in the Europa League – with the Gers welcoming the minnows to Ibrox in the first leg on July 12th.
The Gers were pulled out of the hat in Nyon on Wednesday and face a trip to the Macedonian capital, Skopje, as Steven Gerrard’s first competitive opponents were confirmed.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) June 20, 2018
FK Shkupi are taking part in European competition for the first time in their history after they finished fourth in the Macedonian First League last season.
They play at the Cair Stadium, which has a capacity of 6000 and are managed by Zekirijia Ramadani.
Football Insider verdict:
This will be a bit of a trip into the unknown for Steven Gerrard’s side but is a game they absolutely should be expecting to win. With the first leg at Ibrox, it gives the Light Blues a great opportunity to put they tie beyond doubt in the first game and record a comfortable win. The Gers only have one game before then – a friendly with Bury – as they step up their preparations for the new campaign and Gerrard will need to hope his side can hit the ground running. Making sure they avoid a second-consecutive shambolic European exit will be key for the Gers and could have a huge knock-on effect to the rest of their season. With a trip to Skopje a week after the first leg, Gerrard’s side will have little time to prepare for the second-leg and get acclimatised to the Macedonian capital. The Gers could land a much tougher tie in the next round but will need to be at their best to avoid another potential banana skin.
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