Rangers will face Real Betis, Sparta Prague and Aris Limassol in the group stage of the Europa League after UEFA completed the draw on Friday afternoon.
The Ibrox side dropped into the Europa League after suffering a 7-3 Champions League play-off defeat to PSV Eindhoven. Rangers will now hope for a long run in the second-tier competition, having reached the final in 2022.
A strong co-efficient, partly down to that run to the final in Seville, put Rangers in the first pot of seeds and ensured they avoided some of the competition’s big-hitters such as Liverpool and Ajax, but they will still face some stern tests over the coming months.
Real Betis are in the group stage after finishing sixth in La Liga last season. The Spanish side are managed by Manuel Pellegrini and count Hector Bellerin, Willian José and Borja Iglesias among their talented squad.
Like Rangers, Sparta Prague started this season in Champions League qualifying but the Czech side were knocked out by Copenhagen and then defeated Dinamo Zagreb 5-4 in the Europa League play-offs.
The teams met in the 2021-22 Europa League, with Sparta winning 1-0 in Prague but Rangers won 2-0 at Ibrox.
Rangers’ final Group C opponents are Cypriot side Aris Limassol. Aleksey Shpilevsky’s side lost out to Rakow Czestochowa in Champions League qualifying, and lost the first leg of their Europa League play-off 2-1 away to Slovan Bratislava. A thumping 6-2 second-leg victory turned the tie on its head and put Aris in the group stage.
The group stage gets under way on September 21, with further matches on October 5, October 26, November 9 and November 30 before concluding on December 14.
Rangers’ full fixture list will be confirmed late on Friday or Saturday morning at the latest.