Rangers to encounter 'unprofessional' pitch in crucial Europa League match

Rangers will encounter a difficult pitch when they face Rapid Vienna on Thursday in the Europa League.

The pitch at Rapid's stadium has been criticised.

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Following the Austrian side's goalless draw with Sturm Graz on Sunday the pitch at the Allianz Stadion came in for severe criticism with goalkeeper Richard Strebinger stating "these are not professional conditions."

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Players have called for a new surface to be laid due to the difficulties trying to play football on what is a bumpy pitch - only 12 goals have been scored in the nine games at the ground this league season.

Rangers required a win in Vienna to secure passage to the knockout stages of the tournament.

A new turf was installed in August following a fungal infestation however the issue lies with the base rather than the surface itself.

"The bad turf is definitely a disadvantage for us because the teams against us at Allianz Stadium don't play as open as they do at home," the club's head coach Dietmar Kühbauer said.

"It's difficult when simple passes go somewhere and everyone believes that was a technical error."

Midfielder Thomas Murg said: "It's been impossible from time to time to play the ball straight. The pitch doesn't make it any easier for the team that has a lot of ball possession."

The club are yet to decide when to improve the surface with the understanding that it will be a serious undertaking and will cost a lot of money.