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Spanish success a worry for Rangers

Rangers FC have not beaten Spanish opponents in more than 20 years yet have the confidence boost of a valuable Matchday 1 point as they open their home Group G campaign by welcoming Sevilla FC to Ibrox.

Spanish success a worry for Rangers
Spanish success a worry for Rangers ©UEFA.com

Recent history will persuade Rangers FC to treat their first home game in this season's UEFA Champions League with caution. The visit of Sevilla FC will remind the Scottish titleholders that they have not defeated visitors from Spain for over 20 years.

• If that statistic was not concerning enough, Sevilla are the early pacesetters in Group G as goals from Luis Fabiano and Renato earned a 2-0 home win against debutants FC Unirea Urziceni on Matchday 1. Rangers, however, can take heart after Madjid Bougherra's late equaliser earned a 1-1 draw at VfB Stuttgart.

Previous meetings
• The teams' only previous meeting – and the only time Sevilla have faced opponents from Scotland – came in the 1962/63 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round. Rangers won 4-0 at home and survived a second-leg scare in Spain, where Sevilla won 2-0.

• Rangers have not won in four home matches against Spanish sides, drawing three and losing the other. Home and away they have not won in nine outings (five defeats and four draws) and have not scored in their last three games.

• Rangers' last victory against Spanish opposition came in the 1985/86 UEFA Cup first round when they beat CA Osasuna 1-0 in Glasgow only to lose the away leg 2-0.

Match background
• Rangers lost their last UEFA Champions League home game 3-0 against Olympique Lyonnais, resigning them to third place in the 2007/08 group stage. They had started off with a 2-1 win at home to Stuttgart before a goalless draw against FC Barcelona.

• That Lyon defeat was Rangers' only dent in a sequence of 20 home games in UEFA club competition, including qualifiers, which includes ten wins and nine draws.

• Their previous UEFA Champions League campaign, in 2005/06, was their most successful to date as Rangers became the first Scottish side to reach the knockout stages. At home they beat FC Porto 3-2 and followed that with draws against FC Artmedia Petržalka (0-0) and FC Internazionale Milano (1-1). In the first knockout round they drew 1-1 at Villarreal CF but lost out on away goals having drawn 2-2 at home.

• In their only previous UEFA Champions League campaign two years ago, Sevilla started with a 3-0 defeat at Arsenal FC but then recorded victories at FC Steaua Bucureşti (2-0) and SK Slavia Praha (3-0) to finish top of the group.

• In the first knockout round they lost 3-2 at Fenerbahçe SK and with the game in Spain producing the same score, the Turkish club went through on penalties.

Team ties
• Former manager Jock Wallace, who in 1976 and 1978 guided Rangers to the treble of league title, Scottish FA Cup and League Cup, was Sevilla coach between 1986 and 1987. Manuel Jiménez was among his charges at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán, and Wallace made him vice-captain.

• Sevilla have fond memories of Glasgow having lifted the 2007 UEFA Cup at Hampden Park with victory on penalties against Liga rivals RCD Espanyol following a 2-2 draw after extra time. Sevilla's goals were scored by Adriano and Frédéric Kanouté, while Andrés Palop made three saves in the shoot-out.

• Kanouté and Rangers midfielder Pedro Mendes were team-mates at Tottenham Hotspur FC between 2003 and 2005.

• Sevilla's Sébastien Squillaci and Jérôme Rothen of Rangers spent two seasons together at AS Monaco FC between 2002 and 2004, culminating in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League final and a 3-0 defeat by FC Porto.

• Rangers striker Nacho Novo began his playing career in Spain with SD Huesca, then in the fourth tier.