Rangers legend expects Ibrox atmosphere to ‘shock’ Borussia Dortmund stars

Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side went into the second leg of their play-off tie protecting a 4-2 advantage after stunning the Bundesliga giants on their own turf last week in a result that sent shockwaves around the continent.

Steven starred for Rangers during their nine-in-a-row era and was part of the famous side that came within 180 minutes of reaching the Champions League final in season 1992-1993.

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I have featured in many big European nights at Ibrox and the former England midfielder warned Dortmund stars that they are in for a “shock” when they walk out in front of tonight’s 50,000 sell-out crowd at the iconic Glasgow venue.

Rangers’ fans display during the Europa League win over Sparta Prague at Ibrox in November. (Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group)

“I spent seven successful years at Ibrox and had some brilliant nights,” he told Sky Sports. “I always remember the one against Marseille in the Champions League and I just know it can be the 12th man. It’s loud, it’s noisy.

“I know these Dortmund players are very well experienced but I think the atmosphere tonight will even be a shock to them. Rangers as a team have to use that to their benefit.

“They are in good form and have really good players in the squad, particularly across midfield. Ryan Kent was particularly impressive in the Dortmund game. They have the ammunition and backed by that Ibrox crowd I put them down as favorites to go through.”

Marseille’s Eric Di Meco (left) is pursued by Rangers midfielder Trevor Steven during a Champions League group fixture at Ibrox in 1992.

Steven was blown away by Rangers performance in the first leg and while confident his former side can finish the job at home he warned against underestimating the Dortmund response, in spite of the absence of star striker Erling Haaland.

“It was a fabulous performance,” he said. “I was watching the pre-match stuff and there looked an air of confidence about the Rangers side. There was no pressure because the favorites going into the tie were undoubtedly Borussia Dortmund. Of course, they didn’t have Erling Haaland who is certainly their spearhead.The fact he wasn’t playing, I thought they might get an opportunity.

“The performance was brilliant, a team performance, and team performances at this level are absolutely vital. Rangers have put themselves in a great position, Giovanni van Bronckhorst will be delighted with what he saw. They had a little bit of a setback at the weekend in the Scottish Premiership but going into this game it’s all about cup tie football and Rangers certainly have the advantage.

“If there’s any indicator that Borussia Dortmund are still a team to be reckoned with they won 6-0 at the weekend [against Borussia Monchengladbach]. Marco Reus is their captain and star player. I think he was involved in five goals, scoring two and three assists. They are still geared for attacking football and scoring goals. I expect that to be the same situation this evening and Rangers will be pushed to keep them out over 90 minutes. This is still a great opportunity.

“Jude Bellingham is such a terrific young player who has great influence in games, but the fact they are missing Haaland is a massive boost. But Rangers have to get themselves in the right frame of mind, and I’m sure they will be. The fans will be very vociferous as visual and everything is geared towards Rangers going into the last 16.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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