Rangers land Dortmund in Europa League - who is at home first, Erling Haaland availability, player named after Van Bronckhorst to star

Rangers have landed one of the toughest possible outcomes of the Europa League knockout round play-off draw with a tie against old foes Borussia Dortmund.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst in action for Rangers against Borussia Dortmund when the clubs last met in European competition in the third round of the UEFA Cup in the 1999-2000 season. (Photo by SNS Group).
Giovanni van Bronckhorst in action for Rangers against Borussia Dortmund when the clubs last met in European competition in the third round of the UEFA Cup in the 1999-2000 season. (Photo by SNS Group).

The Bundesliga giants, spearheaded by prodigious Norwegian international striker Erling Haaland, are initially scheduled to be at home in the first leg of the tie on February 17 with the return at Ibrox seven days later.

It’s a major challenge for Rangers who are bidding to reach the last 16 of the Europa League for the second successive season.

Dortmund are currently second in the Bundesliga, six points behind reigning champions Bayern Munich, and have a squad chock-full of outstanding international talent.

Halaand is unquestionably their marquee player. The 21-year-old has scored 17 goals in 14 appearances so far this season and has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester City next summer.

But Dortmund have a strong supporting cast with the likes of German international defender Mats Hummels, England midfielder Jude Bellingham, Belgian midfielder Axel Witsel and German forward Marco Reus.

Their ranks also include USA international midfielder Giovanni Reyna, the 19-year-old son of former Rangers player Claudio who was named after his ex-Ibrox team-mate and current manager of the Scottish champions, Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

Dortmund finished third in their Champions League group this season, behind Ajax and Sporting Lisbon, to drop into the Europa League.

It will be the fifth time Rangers and Dortmund have faced each other in European competition. Van Bronckhorst played in the most recent clash in 1999.

Borussia Dortmund Fact File

Manager: Marco Rose. The 45-year-old former Red Bull Salzburg and Borussia Moenchengladbach head coach took charge of Dortmund at the start of this season.

Star Player: Erling Halaand. The youngest player in Bundesliga history to reach 50 goals, the 21-year-old Norwegian international is one of the hottest striking properties in world football.

Stadium: The Westfalen, also known as Signal Iduna Park, has a current capacity of 81,365.

Previous meetings with Rangers: 1966-67, Cup Winners’ Cup second round, Rangers won 2-1 on aggregate. 1982-83, UEFA Cup first round, Rangers won 2-0 on aggregate. 1995-96, Champions League group stage - both matches drawn 2-2. 1999-2000, UEFA Cup third round, Borussia Dortmund won on penalties after tie finished 2-2 on aggregate.

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