Rangers midfielder Scott Arfield believes his team should look forward to the Europa League draw with excitement and hope for one of the big names in the competition to be lined up for a trip to Ibrox.
A 1-1 draw with Lyon on Thursday saw Rangers finish the group stage on a positive note and as group runners-up behind the French side they take their place in Monday’s draw.
The format of the competition means they will be paired with a team that is dropping down from the Champions League and this season that group includes some stellar names.
Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla are among the teams lying in wait, along with Porto and RB Leipzig. Atalanta are also possible opponents, as are Sheriff Tiraspol and Zenit St Petersburg.
Arfield wasn’t fazed by the size of some of the clubs and welcomes the chance to test himself against the best.
“Of course,” he said. “That’s what you’re in football for, to play at the best arenas against the best teams and to test yourself.
“There’s some calibre of clubs have dropped into that competition so whoever we come up against, we know it’ll be a difficult game.
“We’ll look forward to the draw.”
The midfielder also believes Rangers will be a team that even the big sides will be wary of facing.
“Without a doubt,” he said. “We’re a team that people will look at with the way we play, the mentality, and the stature of the club, and I don’t think people will take us lightly in this competition.
“Bearing in mind what we’ve done for the last three seasons, getting in the group stages and then advancing, it’s certainly what we want to do again.”
Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst rotated his squad for the Lyon test and is likely to do so again as Rangers face eight more domestic games before the winter break. Arfield acknowledged the competition for places and says he’ll be doing everything to impress the new manager and be involved as much as he can.
The 33-year-old’s contract expires at the end of the season and though he can talk to other clubs from next month, he’s keen to stay at Ibrox but will put football first and worry about his deal later.
“It’s going to take it’s own natural course, to be honest,” he said. “I’m happy here and everybody knows I’m happy here.
“As it goes on into May, June or July when you’re out of contract, that’s five or six months down the line.
“Right now I’m just fully focused on getting in the team, staying in the team and helping as much as possible.”