A tough start to the Europa League campaign awaits Rangers in Spain as they pay a visit to Villarreal on Thursday.
Steven Gerrard’s team have had an indifferent start to the campaign but recovered from their recent defeat to Celtic by beating Dundee 4-0 on Saturday to take a much-needed confidence boost into the midweek tie.
The continental competition poses a different challenge for the Glasgow side, however, and Gerrard knows they are underdogs as they look to scrape a result against the Yellow Submarine.
|Game||Villarreal vs Rangers|
|Date||Thursday, September 20|
|Time||5:55pm BST / 12:55pm ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US) the game will be shown on Univision Deportes, and is available to stream live online via Bleacher Report Live.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|Univision Deportes||B/R Live|
In the UK the game will shown on BT Sport 3 and is available to stream via the BT Sport online app.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BT Sport 3||BT Sport Live|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Sergio Asenjo, Fernandez, Barbosa|
|Defenders||Gaspar, Alvaro, Funes Mori, Victor Ruiz, Jaume Costa, Llambrich, Bonera, Layun|
|Midfielders||Caseres, Fornals, Trigueros, Pedraza, Fuego, Cazorla, Bruno Soriano, Raba, Chukweze, Lomotey|
|Forwards||Moreno, Bacca, Sansone, Ekambi|
Bruno Soriano and Santiago Caseres are both absent through injury and Jaume Costa is serving a suspension carried over from last season.
Potential Villarreal XI: Asenjo, Gaspar, Gonzalez, Ruiz, Pedraza, Trigueros, Layun, Cazorla, Fornals, Moreno, Bacca.
|Goalkeepers||McGregor, Foderingham, McCrorie|
|Defenders||Tavernier, Goldson, Flanagan, Ross McCrorie, Katic, Bradley, Barisic, Worrall, McAuley|
|Midfielders||Dorrans, Jack, Ejaria, Halliday, Coulibaly, Kent, Arfield, Kelly, Grezda|
|Forwards||Candeias, Sadiq, Morelos, Lafferty, Middleton|
Ovie Ejaria, Ryan Jack and Gareth McAuley are all out through injury, while Alfredo Morelos and Jon Flanagan are suspended.
Potential Rangers XI: McGregor, Tavernier, Katic, XX, Barisic, Halliday, Arfield, Coulibaly, Candeias, Kent, Lafferty.
Betting & Match Odds
Villarreal are strong favourites to win at 4/11 with . Rangers are priced at 19/2 to win and a draw is a 4/1 bet.
Click here to see more offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.
Steven Gerrard has a “quiet confidence” about Rangers’ chances of causing an upset in Group G and is hoping they can make a bright first impression Thursday’s clash with Villarreal.
A draw at the Estadio de la Ceramica would be considered a positive result for the Scottish side as they take on the side that finished fifth in La Liga last term.
Villarreal have hardly been at their best so far, though. Last week’s win at Leganes was their first of the season and they have lost both of their home matches.
With Santi Cazorla, Carlos Bacca and Miguel Layun in their ranks, they have several stars capable of creating danger for the visitors, but Gerrard says his players must not be underestimated.
“We are the underdogs in the group in terms of people’s opinions on the outside, but inside the dressing room, we have a quiet confidence about us and a belief that we can cause an upset, a shock and try to get out of the group,” he said.
“I will always say the same thing, it is important to face what is in front of you, and that is Villarreal right now. But, of course, we are not here to make the numbers up. We are here to challenge the group and see where we end up.”
He added: “But we all believe it is where this club should be – we are at a huge football club which has had difficult times. I don’t think many gave us a chance of getting to this stage.”