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Rangers in need of rare Romania reward

Rangers FC failed to score a goal in three previous visits to Romania for competitive fixtures and, having taken one point from three Group G games, have it all to do when they take on FC Unirea Urziceni in Bucharest.

Rangers in need of rare Romania reward
Rangers in need of rare Romania reward ©

Rangers FC have made three visits to Romania for competitive games and are yet to score a goal. Consecutive 4-1 home defeats have left the Scottish champions with it all to do to stay in Group G contention, while the Romanian titleholders have climbed up to second position thanks to their first win in UEFA club competition on Matchday 3 and will be aiming to consolidate that at the Steaua Stadium.

• Unirea had drawn two and lost two of their first four European matches prior to their visit to Glasgow and made the worst possible start when Ricardo Vilana's own goal gave Rangers a second-minute lead. Marius Bilasco equalised, however, and after Daniel Tudor had saved Steven Davis's penalty the second period began with both Rangers substitute Kyle Lafferty and team-mate Lee McCulloch scoring for Unirea. Pablo Brandán added a fourth to leave Walter Smith's team bottom of the standings with one point from three outings.

Match background
• Before the Ibrox meeting, Rangers had played six competitive fixtures with Romanian opponents, all against FC Steaua Bucureşti. There is much scope for improvement in their away record because they failed to score in any of the three games.

• Rangers lost twice to Steaua, 2-0 in the 1987/88 European Champion Clubs' Cup quarter-finals – with Ally McCoist and Ian Durrant, now on their coaching staff, both playing – and 1-0 in the 1995/96 UEFA Champions League group stage. Their first visit to the Romanian capital, in the 1969/70 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round, ended 0-0.

• Unirea had never faced a Scottish team in a UEFA club fixture prior to Matchday 3.

• The Romanian club are in only their second season in UEFA competition and are still to win at home, losing 2-0 against Hamburger SV in last season's UEFA Cup first round and drawing 1-1 with VfB Stuttgart on Matchday 2.

• Rangers' last away win in the UEFA Champions League group stage came with a 3-0 triumph at Olympique Lyonnais on 2 October 2007. They have since lost two away games and drawn the other, at Stuttgart on Matchday 1, in the competition proper.

Team ties
• Unirea coach Dan Petrescu played for Romania against Scotland in the Steaua Stadium in October 1991, a UEFA European Championship qualifier that ended 1-0 to the home team. He also played in Glasgow 13 months previously with Scotland winning 2-1, current Rangers assistant manager McCoist scoring the winner.

• Petrescu scored for Chelsea FC in a 3-1 victory against Everton FC at Stamford Bridge in May 1999, during Rangers manager Smith's first season in charge of the Merseyside club.

• Smith got a measure of revenge in 2000/01 as Everton beat a Bradford City AFC side featuring Petrescu 1-0 at Valley Parade in November 2000.

• For the past two summers Unirea have had a pre-season tour of Scotland. This year they played Celtic FC behind closed doors, drawing 1-1, and defeated Greenock Morton FC 3-1. Elsewhere on that tour Unirea lost 2-1 to English side Plymouth Argyle FC at Balgray Playing Fields in Glasgow and beat Ayr United FC 2-1.

• In 2008 Unirea drew 2-2 with Celtic and 1-1 with Livingston FC, as well as beating Saint Johnstone FC 4-0 and Motherwell FC 2-1.