UEFA Champions League play-off draw in full: Rangers discover potential opponents ahead of Union SG qualifier
Here is everything we know about the UEFA Champions League play-off round draw.
and live on Freeview channel 276
Rangers are yet to kick off their Champions League campaign but today’s draw has already confirmed who they will face in the play-offs if they are to progress through this month’s third qualifying round.
The Scottish club were set to face either the winners of Dynamo Kyiv vs Sturm Graz or PSV vs Monaco - with the former most likely the preferred option.
The Champions League draw took place in Lyon this morning and was broadcast at 11am, providing Rangers fans with the insight of who they could be next up.
When is the third qualifying round?
Before they can compete in the play-offs, Rangers are set to face Union Saint-Gilloise across two legs.
Their first tie kicks off this evening (Tuesday 2nd August) at 7:45pm UK time, before they host the Belgian side in a week’s time (Tuesday 9th August).
Who did Rangers draw for the play-offs?
If Rangers progress through their qualifier then they will face the winner of PSV or Monaco.
What may make it even more difficult for Rangers is that they will play at Ibrox first, meaning their opponent will have the home advantage in the second leg.
Monaco v PSV is due to kick off at 7pm this evening before the second match takes place a week later (Tuesday 9th August), meaning Rangers fans won’t discover who they could face until their own fate is sealed against Union SG.
When are the play-offs?
If Rangers beat Union SG then they will face Monaco or PSV later this month.
The first leg is scheduled for August 16/17 - between league clashes with St. Johnstone and Hibernian - while the second will kick off on August 23/24, before their home tie against Ross County.
What are the other play-off fixtures?
From Rangers’ side of the draw, Dynamo Kyiv/Sturm Graz will face Benfica/Midtyjilland.
The Champions Path draw includes all league champions which do not qualify directly for the group stage - this was the other half of the draw from the third qualifying round.
The fixtures from the Champions Path draw are:
• Qarabag FK/Ferencvarosi TC vs. Sheriff Tiraspol/Viktoria Plzen
• FK Bodo/Glimt/Zalgiris Vilnius vs. Ludogorets/GNK Dinamo
• Maccabi Haifa/Apollon Limassol vs. Crvena/Zvezda Pyunik
• Copenhagen vs. Trabzonspor
PSV would be a very tough challenge for Rangers, with the Dutch club finishing in second place behind Ajax in the Eredivisie last season.
They have failed to progress past the play-offs on their previous two attempts, but reached the quarter-finals of the Europa Conference League last season.
They also have some very strong players including Ibrahim Sangare, Noni Madueke and Cody Gakpo, while they recently signed former PSG wonderkid Xavi Simons.
Rangers last faced PSV in 2011 in the Europa League Round of 16.
After taking a 0-0 draw back to Ibrox Stadium, the Gers failed to take advantage of their home crowd in the second leg and were knocked out by an early goal from Jeremain Lens.
Monaco would be another very tough tie after finishing last season strongly, ending the campaign in third place - only two points from second.
The French club have the likes of Djibril Sidibe, Aleksandr Golovin and former Liverpool midfielder Takumi Minamino amongst their ranks.
The two clubs previously met in the 2000/01 season where they faced each other in the Champions League group stage.
Rangers claimed a narrow 1-0 win in the first match, with Giovanni Van Bronckhorst scoring the only goal.
The victory was followed up with a 2-2 draw in Glasgow with goals from Kenny Miller and Michael Mols, however it wasn’t enough to see them progress.