Roy Chipolina targets 'perfect' performance as Lincoln Red Imps chase Old Firm double
Lincoln Red Imps captain Roy Chipolina believes his side must deliver a faultless display if they are to complete a shock European double against the Old Firm in Gibraltar on Thursday afternoon.
Chipolina was a member of the Imps team who stunned Celtic four years ago with a 1-0 victory over Brendan Rodgers’ squad in the first leg of a Champions League second qualifying round tie on the artificial surface of the Victoria Stadium.
Celtic recovered from that embarrassment to win the second leg 3-0 in Glasgow but there is no safety net for Steven Gerrard’s Rangers when they travel to the British Overseas Territory for a single leg Europa League second qualifying round tie against their semi-professional opponents.
Lincoln Red Imps have lost only three of the 11 home games they have played in European club competitions since their first participation in 2014 but Chipolina feels everything will have to fall in their favour in order to cause an upset against a Rangers squad who reached the last 16 of the Europa League last season.
“We will need to play the perfect match and hope they have an off day,” said the 37-year-old English-born defender.
“As many are aware, the impossible has happened before here in Gibraltar and I am sure Rangers will be aware of what we did to Celtic!
“We know what we are up against and the only thing I can guarantee is that we will give our all in what will be another historic fixture on The Rock.
“It’s not every day that we see such a prestigious club come to Gibraltar and although due to Covid, the match will be played behind-closed-doors, it still has everyone excited and talking about the encounter in prospect.
“Our opponents need very little introduction and under the guidance of Steven Gerrard, they are going from strength to strength and we know the size of the task we face.”
One player who may pose a threat to Rangers is midfielder Graeme Torrilla who has recovered from serious knee injury which sidelined him for a year and is regarded as a rising star of football in Gibraltar.
Torrilla made his debut for the national team in their UEFA Nations League match against San Marino at the Victoria Stadium earlier this month, making the occasion by scoring the only goal of the game in a rare victory for Gibraltar.
The 23-year-old is hopeful home advantage can also work in Lincoln Red Imps’ favour in their showdown with Rangers.
“We know that we head into the game as underdogs, but it’s a one-off occasion and in cup football, anything can happen,” said Torrilla.
“The aim going into the game will be to win, as it always is, especially when we are playing here at Victoria Stadium.
“Playing here always gives us a massive boost. Of course, we will miss the backing of the fans, but we will be doing all we can to make them proud.”
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