Bremen game marks Ferguson milestone

Rangers FC and Werder Bremen meet for the first time in the UEFA Cup Round of 16 on a notable night for the Scottish side's captain, midfielder Barry Ferguson.

Rangers FC and Werder Bremen meet for the first time in the UEFA Cup Round of 16 on a notable night for the Scottish side's captain, midfielder Barry Ferguson.

• Should he play, the 30-year-old will break a national record as the player to have played in the most UEFA club competition games, surpassing former Dundee United defender David Narey's total of 76. "It's a nice thing to achieve and I don't see why I can't reach 100 with Rangers," said Ferguson. "There are a few good years left in me yet so that would be a nice number to hit."

• Rangers and Bremen have never met in UEFA club competition.

• Rangers have played 41 games against German opposition in Europe, winning 15, drawing 13 and losing 13. Of their 20 games against German opposition at Ibrox, they have won 12, drawn six and lost just two.

• Rangers have had plenty of ups and downs in their games against German sides, with none more painful than their defeat by FC Bayern München in the 1966/67 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final. Franz Roth scored the only goal of the game at Nuremberg's Frankenstadion deep into the second period of extra time.

• Notable bad results against German sides include a 12-4 aggregate loss to Eintracht Frankfurt in the semi-finals of the 1959/60 European Champions' Club Cup (going down 6-1 in Germany and 6-3 at home) and, more recently, a 5-0 loss at 1. FC Köln in the 1982/83 UEFA Cup second round, having won the first leg 2-1 at Ibrox.

• On a more positive note, one of Rangers' best results in European competition came against a German side as they crushed VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach 11-0 on aggregate in the 1960/61 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals, winning 3-0 in Germany and 8-0 in Glasgow when Ralph Brand struck a hat-trick.

• Rangers went on to reach the final that season, but lost 4-1 over two legs to AC Fiorentina.

• Werder Bremen have played just four games against Scottish sides, winning one, drawing two and losing one. Their previous trips to Scotland ended in a 2-1 loss at Dundee United FC in the 1982/83 UEFA Cup third round and a 1-0 win at Celtic FC in the second round of the 1988/89 European Cup.

• Current Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf played in that game against Celtic as well as the 0-0 draw at the Weserstadion in the return. He also came on as a substitute in a 1-1 home draw against Dundee United in that other tie. Bremen's coach in all those previous matches against Scottish sides was Otto Rehhagel, the legendary German manager who led Greece to triumph at UEFA EURO 2004™.

• At 46, Schaaf is a notable one-club man having been with Bremen since signing youth forms with the club in July 1972. A defender, he played 262 Bundesliga games for the club before retiring in 1994. He helped Werder win two titles, two German Cups and the 1991/92 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.

• After retiring, he managed Bremen's youth and reserve teams before taking over as coach in May 1999. He has since led the club to cup success in 1998/99 and a German league and cup double in 2003/04.

• Rangers manager Walter Smith is almost as iconic a figure at Ibrox as Schaaf is at the Weserstadion. Previously Sir Alex Ferguson's assistant during his time as Scotland coach and then Graeme Souness's assistant at Rangers, the Glasgow-born former defender led the team he followed as a boy to seven successive Scottish Premier League titles between 1991 and 1998 in his first senior management role.

• He subsequently managed Everton FC and the Scottish national team – where he succeeded German Berti Vogts – before returning for a second spell at Rangers in 2007.

• Bremen's Finnish defender Petri Pasanen and Rangers' Senegalese midfielder Amdy Faye were briefly team-mates at English side Portsmouth FC in the 2003/04 season. Faye joined in the summer of 2003 from AJ Auxerre, while Pasanen played seven Premier League games on loan from AFC Ajax prior to joining Bremen in the summer of 2004.

• German and Scottish sides have already met in this season's UEFA Cup, with Bayern reaching the Round of 16 at Aberdeen FC's expense, drawing 2-2 in Scotland before winning 5-1 at home.

• Bremen's Clemens Fritz is within a booking of a match ban, as are Rangers trio Kevin Thomson, Charlie Adam and David Weir. Jean-Claude Darcheville is serving the final game of his three-match suspension.

• Rangers and Bremen both parachuted down into the UEFA Cup Round of 32 after finishing third in their respective UEFA Champions League groups. A 1-1 draw in Athens helped Rangers eliminate Panathinaikos FC in the Round of 32 following a 0-0 draw at Ibrox, while Bremen beat Portugal's SC Braga 4-0 on aggregate.

• The second leg will be played in Bremen on 13 March. The draw for the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the UEFA Cup will be held at UEFA HQ in Nyon on Friday 14 March at 12.00CET.