UEFA Europa League - 2020/21 SeasonMatch press kits
|R. Standard de Liège||Stade Maurice Dufrasne - LiegeThursday 22 October 2020|
18.55CET (18.55 local time) Group D - Matchday 1
Two teams that competed in last season's UEFA Europa League group stage return after successful qualifying campaigns as Standard Liège host Rangers in Group D.
• The clubs have met just once previously in UEFA competition, back in 1961/62, when Standard beat Rangers 4-3 on aggregate (4-1 h, 0-2 a) in the European Cup quarter-final. Reaching the semi-finals that season remains the Belgian club's best ever performance in Europe's premier club competition.
• Standard are unbeaten in six UEFA matches against Scottish opponents in Liege, winning five of them including the most recent, 1-0 against Hearts in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup second round, which completed a 2-0 aggregate win.
• That 4-1 defeat by Standard in 1962 is Rangers' only loss in six games against Belgian opposition (W4 D1); the most recent were against Club Brugge in the group stage of the inaugural UEFA Champions League in 1992/93 (1-1 a, 2-1 h).
• Standard were placed fifth in the 2019/20 Belgian First Division A when it was called to a halt in March. Knocked out of last season's UEFA Europa League at the group stage, they have come through three qualifying rounds this season under new coach Philippe Montanier – all at home, against Bala Town (2-0), Vojvodina (2-1 aet) and Fehérvár (3-1) – to secure an eighth appearance in the competition proper, matching Club Brugge's Belgian record.
• The Liege club have competed in the UEFA Europa League group stage in six previous campaigns, but have only once made further progress, at the first attempt in 2011/12, when they reached the round of 16. They were also quarter-finalists in the inaugural 2009/10 season after switching over mid-campaign from the UEFA Champions League. Last season they finished third in Group F with eight points, behind Arsenal and Eintracht Frankfurt.
• Standard have won only eight of their 18 UEFA Europa League home group stage matches (D6 L4), but have been triumphant in five of their last six and are now unbeaten in 15 European home fixtures (W10 D5).
• Rangers were in second place 13 points behind Celtic when the 2019/20 Scottish Premiership came to a premature end. They also enjoyed a lengthy run in Europe, progressing from the first qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League all the way to the round of 16, where, as Scotland's last team standing, they were eliminated by Bayer Leverkusen (1-3 h, 0-1 a).
• Steven Gerrard's side were obliged to come through three qualifiers to reach this season's group stage, beating Lincoln Red Imps (5-0) and Willem II (4-0) on the road before a 2-1 play-off success against Galatasaray in Glasgow. This is the club's third successive group stage participation. They finished third in their section two seasons ago but came through last term in second place behind Porto, their nine-point total enabling them to finish ahead of Young Boys and Feyenoord.
• The 1-0 victory in Braga that sealed Rangers' round of 32 success last term (following a 3-2 home win) was their first on the road in the UEFA Europa League proper. Their away record in the competition now stands at W1 D5 L4, with three draws and three defeats in their six group games outside Glasgow.
Links and trivia
• Standard striker Duje Čop and Rangers' Borna Barišić are both Croatian internationals.
• Rangers' Romanian midfielder Ianis Hagi spent the first half of 2019/20 in Belgium with Genk before joining Rangers on loan. His one game against Standard was a 1-0 defeat in Liege.
• Kemar Roofe joined Rangers from Anderlecht in August 2020. His last goal for the Brussels side was in a 1-1 draw against Standard in December 2019.
• Only one of Rangers manager Gerrard's 114 international appearances for England came against Belgium; he captained his country to a 1-0 friendly win at Wembley on 2 June 2012.
• Gerrard's Liverpool side overcame Standard after extra time in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round (0-0 a, 1-0 h).
• Standard's seventh appearance in the UEFA Europa League group stage is a record for a Belgian club, one more than Anderlecht and Club Brugge.