Former Rangers striker Kris Boyd believes the Light Blues have a “fighting chance” in their Champions League group which will see a battle of Britain against Liverpool.
Last season’s Europa League finalists booked their place in European football’s elite club competition for the first time since 2010/11 by beating PSV Eindhoven in the play-off round on Wednesday night.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side were rewarded by being drawn alongside the Reds, who were beaten finalists last season, Dutch side Ajax and Napoli from Serie A.
These days a pundit, Boyd, who had two spells at Ibrox, told Sky Sports: “I think when you get to this stage of the competition you are just delighted to be there. To draw Liverpool, a battle of Britain, I’m sure the boys will be looking forward to it.
“It’s a great occasion for Rangers to be back in the elite level of European competition after a long time away from it.
“Confidence was built from a fantastic run last year (to the Europa League final), but with Ajax and Napoli as well it makes for a good group.
“When you look at some of the groups it could have been a lot worse, but every group will be difficult.
“With Ajax, Calvin Bassey will be going back to Ibrox as well, so soon after leaving (Rangers) for that massive transfer fee in the summer, so I’m sure he’s looking forward to that.
“Liverpool, for everyone in Britain, will be a great occasion with two clubs with great history going head to head. I’m sure that will be one everyone is tuning in for.
“Napoli were third last year in Serie A and have started the season really well.
“You would expect Liverpool to win the group and the rest, we will wait and see what happens, but I’m sure Rangers will be in there with a fighting chance.”
Boyd believes the big European nights at Ibrox will stay with those involved “forever” and that the crowd can play a big part in helping Rangers, albeit the Euro opposition will be no strangers to a big-time atmosphere.
The former Scotland striker said: “We have heard some top-class players speak about Champions League nights, Rangers at Ibrox and Celtic Park.
“It stays with you forever. They are two special stadiums that generate some amount of noise and atmosphere.
“I’m sure Rangers will be looking forward to welcoming the teams they have got coming because it’s been a long time.
“Everyone’s spoken about what the atmosphere did in the Europa League run. We saw it again against Union Saint-Gilloise to knock them out of the Champions League qualifiers so I think it can play a big part.
“The players though, especially at Liverpool, are used to playing in that atmosphere, Napoli and Ajax as well, so the Rangers fans will just be looking forward to hearing that Champions League song once again because it’s been a long, long time coming.”