Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst has talked up his side’s chances of progressing past Borussia Dortmund in their Europa League round of 32 playoffs on Thursday.
The German giants fell down to the Europa League after finishing in third place in their UEFA Champions League group.
They were paired with the Scottish Premier League champions and are expected to show much more quality than the side from Ibrox when both sides meet on Thursday.
However they will be going into the tie without their big man up front, Erling Haaland, and the Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst has said that his side is ready for a Dortmund side who will be with or without their 21 year-old striker.
“We want to play against the best opposition possible in all the competitions we have, so it’s normal to live the moments we are facing now, playing against Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League,” the Rangers manager said.
“These are the games you want. From when you are young, you work hard to be able to play these games. Everyone is excited.
“We’re playing against one of the top sides in Europe. You know when you are still in Europe after the winter break you are going to play against a very good opposition.
“We are relishing the challenge to play against a top side in a nice stadium. We will go out and try to make it to the next round.”
Westfalenstadion to be filled at only 10,000 capacity for Rangers-Dortmund
The Signal Iduna park home of Borussia Dortmund will be filled at only 10,000 capacity due to covid-19 restrictions in Germany.
Rangers’ daunting task will be greatly helped by that fact as the Signal Iduna Park is known to be one of the most raucous stadiums in all of Europe. The Dortmund fans are also some of the most passionate football fans in all of Europe and know how to make the noise which export their team on to perform well on the pitch.
Van Bronckhorst spoke on this development in his pre-match press conference. “Of course it’s different to play in front of 10,000 people compared to a full stadium,” said Van Bronckhorst.
“We’ve had games this season with a full stadium and less of a crowd, so we know the differences.
“But still we are facing a good team, so for me there is no real difference, we still have to go out and perform.
“We want to have as good a result as possible to take back to Ibrox next week when we will have the backing of a full crowd.”
Rangers not scared of Haaland says Van Bronckhorst
Dortmund are also facing the possibility of playing without star man Erling Haaland, who has missed the last two matches with a muscle injury.
The Rangers boss said that his side will prepare for whoever Dortmund fields on the day. “Everyone recognises the talent he has, he is one of the top strikers in the world,” said Van Bronckhorst.
“But Dortmund have been playing without him for weeks, so for me it is just about preparing for the players we will face.
“He is almost back to play, but it looks like he is not in the squad for Thursday.”
Rangers will also go into the fixture with their own absences with defender Leon Balogun out injured and Filip Helander not deemed fit to be included in the squad.