Steven Gerrard’s Scottish champions have endured an underwhelming European campaign, in sharp contrast with previous years, however a win over the Danes could re-ignite their season.
The manager has admitted it is a must-in for his side when the Denmark Superliga champions visit, following defeats to Lyon and Sparta Prague in the first two fixtures of the section.
The sides meet again in the return leg in a fortnight’s time but here’s how to tune in to all the action from Ibrox on Thursday.
Who: Rangers v Brondby
What: UEFA Europa League group
Where: Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow
When: 8pm, Thursday, October 21, 2021
Referee: Fran Jović (CRO)
How to watch the match
The match will be shown live on BT Sport, on the broadcasters’ third channel (Sky ch. 417 / Virgin ch. 529) and coverage begins at 7.30pm. That means the game is also available to stream online via BT Sports app.
How important is this game?
Rangers and Brondby have yet to win a game in the Europa League. The Danes are off the mark though with one point from their draw matchday one against Sparta Prague. If Rangers want to progress in Europe beyond Christmas a win is important - Steven Gerrard has admitted this fixture is a ‘must -win' for his side. First place in the group, currently held by Lyon on six points, progresses to the Europa League last 16, second place earns a play-off against a third-placed Champions League side to join them in the last 16. Even third place, means a longer continental campaign and would mean a play-off against a second-placed side from the UEFA Conference League group sections – so every point, and every win could be crucial.
Have they met before?
Surprisingly, for two clubs who feature regularly in European football, this will be their first meeting. There are links between the sides though, particularly via Ibrox legend Brian Laudrup who began his career at Thursday's opponents in the 1980s.
What is Rangers record against Danish opponents like?
They may not have faced Brondby before, but Rangers’ record against other Danish sides is almost unblemished.
Their last visit to the country came the season before last and FC Midtjylland were beaten home and away by Gerrard’s side in August 2019.
They also faced FC Copenhagen in the 2003 Champions League qualifiers and progressed under Alex McLeish, though the second leg ended in a 1-1 draw at Ibrox – the only game Rangers have failed to win.
In 2000 Dick Advocaat’s team saw off Herfolge home and away with two 3-0 victories and the earliest meeting was at the start of a famous European campaign when Lyngby were defeated in the first round of the European Cup, featuring the inaugural Champions League group stages. The win for Walter Smith’s side set up a Battle of Britain with Leeds United and, eventually, a run to the brink of the final.