PSV Eindhoven will be out for revenge when they meet Rangers in Champions League qualifying for the second-successive year and they are favourites for the first-leg meeting at Ibrox.
The Gers won over two legs at this stage last season, playing out a 2-2 draw at Ibrox before securing a dramatic win in the Netherlands thanks to the heroics of Antonio Colak, who scored in both legs of the fixture.
Colak has since left for Serie B outfit Parma, but Rangers have plenty of goal-threats at their disposal, including the often-overlooked James Tavernier.
Rangers’ Champions League campaign was saved as captain James Tavernier met a Borna Barisic cross at the back post in Switzerland, with Michael Beale’s side going on to see out a 3-2 aggregate win over Servette and the skipper is an attractive price to add to his impressive tally against PSV.
Tavernier, who operates as a right-back, is now the Gers’ third-highest scoring player in Europe – behind only Ally McCoist and Alfredo Morelos – and he has picked up where he left off last term.
Rangers’ designated penalty-taker, Tavernier scored in both legs against Servette and enjoyed a rest at the weekend as Beale rotated his squad for their 2-1 win over Greenock Morton.
He joined the centurion club for the Ibrox outfit with a brace against arch-rivals Celtic back in April on his way to a personal-best goalscoring season in the Scottish Premiership, notching 16 league goals in 38 appearances for the club he joined in 2015.
Tavernier has since made a mockery of the £200,000 transfer fee Rangers shelled out for him, becoming their captain, talisman and, at times, their top goalscorer.
The 31-year-old’s thirst for goals has only increased with age, too. He has scored 57 goals in 163 appearances since the start of the 2020/21 season.
Crucial goals home and away to Servette set the ball rolling this term and the Ibrox faithful will be relying on him to threaten against a PSV side that do tend to struggle at the back.
The Dutch side are without a clean sheet in their last six Champions League fixtures and have conceded in three of their last four in all competitions, including home and away to Austrian side Sturm Graz in the last round of qualifying, while they have only kept one clean sheet in their last nine competitive away games.
Tavernier assisted Rangers’ first goal against PSV at Ibrox a year ago and can step up again to give the underdogs a fighting chance against the forward-thinking Eredivisie club.