Rangers will be looking to claim a first-leg advantage when they travel to Belgium on Tuesday for the first leg of their third qualifying round Champions League tie with Union Saint-Gilloise.
While the hosts secured their place in the third qualifying round of this season’s competition by finishing second in the champions playoff in Belgian First Division A in 2021-23, Rangers just missed out on automatic qualification for this season’s European Cup by losing the 2021-22 Europa League final to Eintracht Frankfurt.
Union SG only earned promotion back to the top flight of Belgian football in March 2021, with the Brussels outfit returning to the top tier for the first time in 48 years.
Not too many expected them to make a strong impression in Belgian First Division A last season, but they finished top of the table at the end of the regular season, becoming the first side in Belgian histroy to manage that feat after earning promotion the previous campaign.
Karel Geraerts’ side will definitely be the underdogs in this two-legged affair, but they are the third-most successful team in terms of top-tier Belgian championships (11), putting them behind Anderlecht (34) and Club Brugge (18).
Meanwhile, Rangers kicked off their 2022-23 Scottish Premiership campaign with a 2-1 victory over Livingston on Saturday.
As aforementioned, Rangers took part in last season’s Europa League final, where they played out a 1-1 with Eintracht Frankfurt after extra time, with the German side eventually winning 5-4 on penalties.
The Gers have been active during this summer’s transfer window, bringing in Malik Tillman, John Souttar, Tom Lawrence, Antonio Colak, Rabbi Matondo, Ridvan Yilmaz and Ben Davies.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side finished second in the Scottish Premiership last season, while they lost to Malmo in the third qualifying round of the 2021-22 Champions League.
Union Saint-Gilloise vs Rangers head to head
The two teams have not previously met in any occasion and this will be their first encounter in the first leg of their Champions League third round qualification tie.
Union Saint-Gilloise latest home form
Union SG have recently been on a relatively good run of form at home, having lost just two of their eight most recent matches. They defeated Sporting Charleroi 1-0 in their last home game in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored six goals and conceded six.
Union Saint-Gilloise 3-1 Anderlecht 24/04/22
Union Saint-Gilloise 0-2 Club Brugge 08/05/22
Union Saint-Gilloise 0-1 Antwerp 22/05/22
Union Saint-Gilloise 2-2 Racing Union Luxembourg 06/07/22
Union Saint-Gilloise 1-0 Sporting Charleroi 29/07/22
Union Saint-Gilloise latest away form
Union SG have recently been on a good run of form on the road, as they have been unbeaten in their seven most recent matches. They drew 1-1 with Sint-Truiden in their last away game in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored seven goals and conceded two.
Deinze 0-1 Union Saint-Gilloise 02/07/22
Brighton & Hove Albion 0-0 Union Saint-Gilloise 09/07/22
Sporting Lisbon 1-1 Union Saint-Gilloise 13/07/22
Feyenoord 0-4 Union Saint-Gilloise 16/07/22
Sint-Truiden 1-1 Union Saint-Gilloise 23/07/22
Rangers latest home form
Rangers lost 2-1 to Tottenham Hotspur in their last home game in a friendly. However, they have recently been on a good run of form at home, as they have won each of their previous six matches. In their last five matches, they have scored 12 goals and conceded just four.
Rangers 2-0 Dundee United 08/05/22
Rangers 4-1 Ross County 11/05/22
Rangers (E)2-0 Hearts 21/05/22
Rangers 3-1 West Ham United 19/07/22
Rangers 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur 23/07/22
Rangers latest away form
Rangers have recently been on a relatively good run of form on the road, having lost just one of their five most recent matches. They managed to defeat Livingston 2-1 in their last away game in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored nine goals and conceded five.
Celtic 1-1 Rangers 01/05/22
Hearts 1-3 Rangers 14/05/22
Eintracht Frankfurt (P)1-1 Rangers 18/05/22
Blackpool 1-2 Rangers 16/07/22
Livingston 1-2 Rangers 30/07/22
Union Saint-Gilloise news
Union SG have not reported any fresh fitness concerns at this stage, so the bulk of the side that were involved in the win over Sporting Charleroi should again feature here.
Simon Adingra and Dante Vanzeir could feature as the front two, with Ross Sykes and Christian Burgess also starting.
Kemar Roofe and Alfredo Morelos remain absent for Rangers, while Ianis Hagi is still out with a knee injury, but Matondo could make the squad after missing out against St Johnstone.
New signing Antonio Colak led the line on Saturday and he is again expected to operate at the tip of the attack.
Prediction and Odds
Rangers are considered favourites to become victorious over the two legs, but Union SG should not be disregarded due to their impressive 2021-22 campaign.
We are predicting a draw in the first leg on Tuesday but believe that the Gers will eventually have enough to progress over the two legs.
Odds: 1 2.28 X 2.05 2 2.15
Union Saint-Gilloise 0-0 Rangers
Union Saint-Gilloise 1-1 Rangers
Union Saint-Gilloise 2-2 Rangers
Union Saint-Gilloise 0-1 Rangers
Union Saint-Gilloise 1-2 Rangers