With an English club guaranteed to win the Champions League next week, Rangers will aim to make it a British clean sweep in Europe this season when they take on Zenit St Petersburg in the final of the Uefa Cup in Manchester tonight.
Rangers have already won the Scottish League Cup, are finalists in the Scotish FA Cup and still have a major chance of taking the league title.
The Glasgow giants haven’t woin a European trophy since 1972 and such is the interest in the game, more than 100,000 Rangers fans are expected to travel south despite the fact that the City of Manchester stadium only has a capacity of 44,000.
Big screens have been put up in the city to allow ticketless fans to watch the game.
Rangers manager Walter Smith, who’s up against former Gers boss Dick Advocaat who leads the Russian outfit, is unconcerned by the critics of his team’s tactics as he aims to bring Scotland its first European trophy since Aberdeen beat Real Madrid in the 1983 Cup-Winners’ Cup final. He said:
So far, we’ve had a lot of negative comments about us.
We’ve had a lot of situations where people say that Rangers play anti-football, rubbish football or whatever.
But, for a first-year team, we’ve settled in well and, for those teams that have lost to us, if they are that good, why have they not beaten us?