Former Aberdeen, Celtic and Scotland star Charlie Nicholas reckons the “horror scenario” was always a possible consequence of a “Hollywood draw” which sees last season’s Europa League finalists in a group with Liverpool, Napoli and Ajax.
Rangers have already lost 4-0 in Amsterdam and 3-0 at home to the Serie A leaders with a double header against Liverpool on the horizon after the international break.
Nicholas reckons the performance against Napoli, with Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men holding the Italians until James Sands’ red card, was encouraging but he still “fears” for them in Europe.
He compared the club's predicament to Celtic under Brendan Rodgers when they were pitted against Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Belgian giants Anderlecht in 2017. They lost five of their six group games, winning the other, 3-0 in Belgium to secure third place.
"I wouldn't be surprised if they don't pick up a single point in the Champions League this season - that's the stark reality of this competition and the level of the teams they face,” Nicholas wrote in his Daily Express column. “When you get the Hollywood draw of Liverpool, Ajax and Napoli then the horror scenario is staring you in the face.
"It's not dissimilar to what happened to Celtic under Brendan Rodgers in his second campaign in the competition when they were battered by PSG, lost home and away to Bayern Munich and collected just three points with a win over Anderlecht. I honestly can't see Rangers taking anything from the Liverpool double-header in their next Group A outings. The Light Blues then go to Italy to take on a Napoli side who might need to win to progress.
"Gers certainly competed with the Serie A leaders for nearly an hour at Ibrox last week until James Sands was sent off. It's difficult to look too far ahead but Rangers' best hope of avoiding the nightmare of a big zero appears to be taking something from Ajax at Ibrox in their final group game."