By Doug Ward
Michael Stewart predicts it’ll be tough for Rangers to get past PSV and qualify for the Champions League group stages over the course of the next few weeks.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men came from two goals behind on aggregate to beat Union Saint-Gilloise at Ibrox earlier this week.
PSV overcame Monaco in their Champions League qualifier and will travel to Ibrox on Tuesday (16 August) before welcoming the Europa League runners-up to Eindhoven a week later (24 August).
Ex-Hearts player Stewart feels Rangers are at a slight disadvantage due to playing at home first
“It’s going to be difficult, PSV are a very good side,” said Stewart on BBC Scotland’s Sportscene on Saturday night (13 August, 18m43s).
“They’ve managed to beat Ajax in the Dutch Super Cup as well and they’re in a good place at the top of the Eredivisie after a few games.
“The first leg is at home [for Rangers]. Ibrox is a formidable place for teams to go to at the moment.
“But the second leg isn’t at home, it’s just whether that is going to prove a difference or not. Time will tell but I think it’s important they have a lead to take to Eindhoven in the second leg.”
Hard fixture
It was always going to be tough for Rangers to qualify for the Champions League group stages.
Van Bronckhorst’s men would have massively underperformed if they lost to USG in the last round of qualifying.
However, they turned around their 2-0 away defeat in the first leg to win the tie 3-2 on aggregate and gave themselves a showdown with either PSV or Monaco.
Both teams would be difficult. Both teams have done well in their respective leagues in recent years. Both teams have some very talented players.
PSV won the tie in extra-time on Tuesday night and that might have been a good thing.
Van Broncnkhorst is bound to have more knowledge of PSV than he would have done about Monaco and that could bode well for the Light Blues manager.
Cody Gakpo is a player to watch out for though. He’s been absolutely prolific over the last year and has been linked with a big-money move to the Premier League.
It’ll be tough but in 2022, Rangers have beaten stronger teams in Europe than PSV.
In other Rangers news, this Ibrox fan favourite might never pull on the blue jersey ever again.