Football fans around the world are eagerly anticipating the start of the group stage of the 2023/24 Europa League, which kicks off on the 21st of September.
One of the most exciting fixtures of the opening round is the clash between Scottish side Rangers and Spanish club Real Betis in Group C.
The match is set to take place at the iconic Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow, Scotland. Rangers currently sit in 4th place in the Scottish Premiership, while Real Betis are struggling in the 10th position in La Liga.
Rangers football stats
Rangers will be full of confidence going into the game, having secured a vital 2-0 win against St Johnstone in the Scottish Premiership over the weekend.
The result was crucial for the team, who were in danger of falling behind early in the title race to rivals Celtic.
The hosts wasted no time in asserting their dominance, scoring the opening goal just 16 minutes into the match. They added a second goal late in the second half to seal the win.
However, before the victory over St Johnstone, Rangers had suffered two disappointing defeats.
They were eliminated from Champions League qualifying by PSV and then lost to Celtic in the Scottish Premiership.
The heavy loss to PSV meant that Rangers had to settle for a place in the Europa League this season.
Despite these setbacks, Rangers have been impressive at home, remaining undefeated in four of their five fixtures in all competitions this season.
They recorded an impressive win over Servette in Champions League qualifying and have a good recent record in the Europa League, having reached the final in 2021/22.
Real Betis, on the other hand, are struggling in La Liga and were thrashed 5-0 by Barcelona over the weekend.
The defeat was a bitter pill to swallow for the Spanish side, who conceded three goals in the second half to complete a miserable outing.
Real Betis football stats
The loss to Barcelona was Real Betis’ third consecutive match without a win, having won just one of their last four fixtures.
They secured a 1-0 home win over Rayo Vallecano, drew 0-0 with Atletico Madrid, and lost 4-2 to Athletic Club in their previous matches.
Despite their recent struggles, Real Betis have a solid record in the Europa League, having reached the round of 16 last season.
They have won three of their last four away matches in the competition and have scored in each of their last seven games on the road.
Europa League clash team news
In terms of team news, Rangers will be without the injured trio of Todd Cantwell, Kieran Dowell, and Steven Davis, while Real Betis have a lengthy injury list that includes Youssouf Sabaly, Andres Guardado, Aitor Ruibal García, Claudio Bravo, William Carvalho, and Nabil Fekir.
Overall, this match is crucial for both teams, who were hoping for a stronger start to the season.
A win in this fixture could provide the impetus for either side to turn their fortunes around and kickstart their campaign in the Europa League.