What Rangers fans should know about Benfica, Standard Liege and Lech Poznan

Everything Rangers fans need to know about Benfica, Standard Liege, Lech Poznan after today’s Europa League draw

Friday, 2nd October 2020, 6:19 pm
The Estadio Da Luz - home of Benfica. Picture: SNS
The Estadio Da Luz - home of Benfica. Picture: SNS

BENFICA

The basics

Rangers: Get the latest team news, match previews and reports

Rangers: Get the latest team news, match previews and reports

The side from Lisbon play in the 65,000-seater Estádio da Luz and finished runners-up in the Portuguese top flight last term. They finished runners-up in the Europa League twice in the 2010s, which made it seven consecutive losses in European finals. They're said to have been cursed by ex-manager Bela Guttmann.

Last meeting

Rangers and Benfica have never faced each other in a competitive game.

Manager

Jorge Jesus returned this summer after a spectacularly successful year with Flamengo in Brazil, winning the top flight and the Copa Libertadores. In his previous six-year spell with Benfica he won three titles and six domestic cups.

Form

Though they've won both of their league matches so far, their bid to reach the Champions League fell at the first hurdle and a defeat to Greek side PAOK.

Star player

Midfielder Pizzi finished clear at the top of the Primeira Liga table for combined goals and assists with a whopping 30. He was also joint-top scorer of the league.

STANDARD LIEGE

The basics

Their home ground, the Stade Maurice Dufrasne, has a capacity of 28,000. They finished fifth in the Belgian top flight last year. They've never won a European trophy but were runners-up in the Cup Winners' Cup in 1982. Interestingly enough, their first ever European tie came against Hearts.

Last meeting

Rangers won the last battle between the sides, all the way back in 1962, but not the war. A 2-0 win at Ibrox was not enough to overturn a 4-1 deficit from the first leg and Standard advanced to the semi-finals of the European Cup, where they lost to Real Madrid.

Manager

Philippe Montanier took over from three-time Standard manager Michel Preud'homme in the summer. Montanier was once manager of Nottingham Forest for a brief and disappointing spell.

Form

There have been seven rounds of fixtures so far, with Montanier's men winning four, drawing two and losing one, currently good enough for fourth place.

Star player

They're noted for their robust defence rather than goalscorers, so it would be fitting to highlight the influence of Cypriot centre-back Konstantinos Laifis at the heart of the defence.

LECH POZNAN

The basics

The Polish side play in the Stadion Miejski, which holds 43,000. Last season saw them finish second in the Ekstraklasa. Their best European finish saw them reach the last 32 of the Europa League in 2009 and 2011.

Last meeting

Lech Poznan have only played a Scottish club once in European football and that was Aberdeen in the season the Dons went on to lift the Cup Winners' Cup.

Manager

Dariusz Żuraw, a former assistant of the club, has been at the helm since April 2019, taking them from eighth to second in his one full season.

Form

They haven't made the best of starts to the league season, failing to win any of their opening three before finding a 1-0 win over Warta Poznan last time out. They did have to win four rounds to make it to the group stages, though.

Star player

Christian Lund Gytkjær was the leading scorer in the division last term but he left for Monza this summer. Goalscoring midfielder Dani Ramirez will now be the key weapon.

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