Feyenoord's new coach Dick Advocaat comes up against his former club as Rangers arrive in Rotterdam hoping to clinch a place in the last 32.
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Feyenoord's new head coach Dick Advocaat comes up against his former club as Rangers arrive in Rotterdam hoping to clinch a place in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase with a game to spare.
• Feyenoord have four points in Group G, all from home games – 2-0 against Porto and 1-1 versus Young Boys – while Rangers are three points better off, their two wins at home – against Feyenoord (1-0) and Porto (2-0) – supplemented by a draw in Portugal (1-1).
• The Scottish club will secure their place in the round of 32 if they beat Feyenoord and Porto fail to win in Berne, or if they draw and Porto lose. The Dutch side will be out of contention if they lose or draw and Young Boys win, or if they lose and Young Boys draw.
• On Matchday 1 Rangers defeated a Feyenoord side led by Jaap Stam 1-0 in Glasgow thanks to a spectacular long-range strike from Sheyi Ojo.
• The clubs were paired together just once before this season and it proved portentous for Feyenoord, who drew 1-1 at Ibrox and won 3-2 in Rotterdam in the fourth round of the 2001/02 UEFA Cup – a competition they went on to win.
• Feyenoord have won all four of their UEFA home games against Scottish visitors, keeping clean sheets in all but that previous match against Rangers. Their most famous victory against Scottish opposition came in the first such encounter, the 1970 European Cup final against Celtic, which they won 2-1 after extra time in Milan.
• Rangers' record against Dutch clubs is W6 D4 L7. In the Netherlands it is W3 D1 L4, the draw having come on their most recent visit, 0-0 at PSV Eindhoven in the first leg of the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League round of 16; Rangers went out after losing the return 0-1 at Ibrox.
• Dutch champions in 2016/17 and cup winners in 2017/18, Feyenoord finished third in the league last season to return to the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round, where they were surprisingly eliminated in 2018/19 by Slovakian side Trenčín 5-1 on aggregate (0-4 a, 1-1 h).
• This season they reversed those scorelines (4-0 h, 1-1 a) to overcome Dinamo Tbilisi before seeing off Hapoel Beer Sheva in style in the play-offs with a pair of 3-0 victories. This is the club's third appearance in the UEFA Europa League group stage. They topped their section in 2014/15 but finished third in 2016/17 despite opening with a 1-0 home win against eventual winners Manchester United.
• Feyenoord won their first five home UEFA Europa League group games and have six victories in eight matches overall. They won their first three European games in Rotterdam this term, scoring nine goals and conceding none, before drawing 1-1 against Young Boys on Matchday 4.
• Rangers qualified for 2019/20 European competition as runners-up to Celtic in last season's Scottish Premiership. They also won four qualifying ties to reach the UEFA Europa League group stage for the first time, but just one win and six points prevented them from making further progress.
• Once again Rangers were obliged to come through four qualifiers to reach this season's group stage, defeating St Joseph's, Progrès Niederkorn, Midtjylland and, in the play-offs, Legia Warszawa, a late Alfredo Morelos winner in the second leg at Ibrox providing the only goal of the tie.
• Rangers failed to win an away fixture on their UEFA Europa League group stage debut last season, drawing at Villarreal (2-2) before losing at Spartak Moskva (3-4) and Rapid Wien (0-1). The Matchday 2 loss at Young Boys prolonged that winless sequence to four matches but it is their only defeat in Europe this term, the other ten games having provided eight wins, two draws and eight clean sheets.
Links and trivia
• Advocaat was in charge at Rangers from 1998 to 2001. The club's first foreign manager, he won the domestic treble in his first season followed by a league and Scottish Cup double in his second. He came up against his former club in the 2008 UEFA Cup final, his Zenit side beating Rangers 2-0 to lift the trophy in Manchester.
• Rangers' Filip Helander and Feyenoord's Sam Larsson are Sweden internationals.
• Morelos was the top scorer in this season's UEFA Europa League qualifying phase with eight goals. The Colombian striker has also scored in each of Rangers' last three group games, the only other player to have found the net on Matchdays 2, 3 and 4 being Espanyol's Víctor Campuzano.
• Rangers are one of only two clubs to have reached this season's group stage after beginning their UEFA Europa League journey in the first qualifying round, Malmö being the other.
• Rangers are through to the final of the Scottish League Cup on 8 December at Hampden, where they will face Celtic, with whom they are currently level on points at the top of the Premiership table. The Light Blues are bidding to lift the League Cup for the first time since 2010/11 and for a record 28th time in all.
• Advocaat was appointed as the interim head coach of Feyenoord for the remainder of the 2019/20 season on 30 October following Stam's resignation two days earlier. The 72-year-old is considered one of the Netherlands’ all-time great coaches having had three stints in charge of the national side, and has also been the coach of five other countries – the UAE, South Korea, Belgium, Russia and Serbia. At club level he is most closely associated with PSV Eindhoven, Rangers and Zenit, winning national championships with all three plus the UEFA Cup with the Russian club in 2008.
• A Liverpool legend with 186 goals in 710 appearances for the Anfield club, most of them as captain, Steven Gerrard launched his managerial career at Glasgow giants Rangers in May 2018. An England international for 14 years, accumulating 114 caps and 21 goals, the dynamic midfielder won the UEFA Cup and UEFA Champions League with Liverpool as well as both domestic cups. After an 18-month end-of-career spell with LA Galaxy he returned to coach Liverpool's youth team before the job at Ibrox lured him to Scotland, where he led the Gers to second place in the 2018/19 Premiership.