12 out of 33 - How Rangers can take inspiration to overturn Champions League deficit

When Royale Union Saint-Gilloise visit Ibrox this evening it will be the 33rd European game Rangers have hosted since their return to the continental stage in 2017.

Back then was a tie the club would like to forget. Despite a 1-0 home win over Progrès Niederkorn, they lost the second-leg 2-0 to the Luxembourg outfit in what was the club’s most embarrassing result in European football.

In a much better place five years on, Rangers are in a position where they are required to overturn a two-goal first-leg defeat to reach the play-off round of Champions League qualifying.

The Ibrox side have had plenty of joy on the European stage in the last four years. Twice they have reached the Europa League group stages having started in the first qualifying round. They have progressed from the group on three occasions and famously reached the final last season when they were defeated on penalties by Eintracht Frankfurt.

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This is only the second time, however, they have trailed by two goals from the first-leg. The only other time was against Bayer Leverkusen where there were five months between the two games due to the coronavirus pandemic. In that instance, Rangers lost by two goals at home in the first-leg.

Rangers can take heart from the fact they have recorded the necessary scoreline on 12 occasions since 2017 that would see the tie go to extra-time at least.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst's men know if they win by two goals they will get an extra 30 minutes in front of their home crowd to secure a three-goal win before penalties.

Of the 12 times they have won at Ibrox by two goals in Europe since 2017, nine have been by exactly two goals, including a 3-1 win over RB Leipzig which saw them overturn a 1-0 first-leg loss to reach the Europa League final.

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Rangers host Belgian side Union SG. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

Red Star Belgrade, Sparta Prague, Midtjylland, Porto and Maribor are some of the teams who have been defeated by at least a two-goal scoreline.

Van Bronckhorst will have both Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos available for selection after both missed the match in Belgium last Tuesday.

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