Europa League: Rangers face Chikhura Sachkhere or Maribor if they beat Osijek

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Rangers face a tie against Georgian side Chikhura Sachkhere or Maribor of Slovenia in the Europa League Third Qualifying Round if they can see off Croatia’s Osijek.

Maribor are no strangers to the Ibrox side, with Rangers defeating them 6-1 on aggregate in the Champions League Second Qualifying Round in 2001/02, and losing to them in the 2011/12 Europa League.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard faces a tough opening fixture away at Aberdeen. Picture: SNS

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard faces a tough opening fixture away at Aberdeen. Picture: SNS

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In 2014/15, Maribor recorded a 2-1 aggregate win over Celtic in the Champions League play-off round, while Hibs were on the wrong end of a 6-2 scoreline in the Third Qualifying Round of the Europa League in 2010/11.

Aberdeen were knocked out at the same stage in 2016/17.

Brazilian striker Marco Tavares, who netted in each leg against Hibs and also against Celtic at Parkhead, is in his 12th season at the Stadion Ljudski vrt, with more than 180 goals under his belt for the Vijoličasti.

Midfielder Damjan Bohar, who netted against Celtic, and veteran ‘keeper Jasmin Handanovic who featured against the Hoops and Rangers, are also still at the club.

Erovnuli Liga outfit Chikhura Sachkhere are more of an unknown quantity. The Georgians have had a mixed bag of results in Europe, but have competed in the Europa League in five of the last six years.

Victory on away goals against Vaduz of Liechtenstein in the First Qualifying Round in 2013/14 handed them a tie against Thun of Switzerland, who won 5-1 on aggregate, while the following year they defeated Horizont Turnovo of Macedonia 4-1 on aggregate, defeated Bursaspor on penalties abd finally lost 3-2 on aggregate to Neftchi Baku in the Third Qualifying Round.

After missing out on Europe in the 2014/15 season, Chikhura returned to the Europa League during the 2016/17 season, losing on away goals to Zimbru Chisinau of Moldova.

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In 2017/18, they lost to Austrian side Rheindorf Altach but defeated last year’s Israeli Premier League runners-up Beitar Jerusalem - including ex-Ger Carlos Cuellar - in the First Qualifying Round this summer.