The Gers came out second best in the Old Firm derby at the weekend, but one of their Nigerian imports is tipping them to put that disappointing result behind them on Thursday
Super Eagles full-back Calvin Bassey says Braga are a worthy opponent for Rangers, but the youngster is convinced the Scottish champions can get the better of the Portuguese side.
Braga host Rangers in the first leg of their Europa League quarterfinals fixture today, Thursday, in an evenly-matched tie that promises plenty of fireworks.
The Primeira Liga club dispatched Moldova giants Sheriff Tiraspol and French side Monaco to reach this stage and will hope their fine form at the Estádio Municipal de Braga will hand them a first-leg advantage. They defeated illustrious foes Benfica 3-2 in the same stadium on Sunday.
Rangers were even more impressive en route to the last eight of the Europa League after overcoming arguably tougher oppositions in Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund and Serbia lords Red Star Belgrade.
It is also the first time in 14 years that the Gers will make it to this stage of the Europa League. On that occasion in 2008, they reached the final, where they lost 0-2 to Zenit Saint Petersburg.
While the Light Blues will want a repeat of that incredible run, they arrive in Portugal on the back of a disappointing home defeat to rivals Celtic.
And with Rangers’ league title ambitions slowly fading away, Bassey is hoping the team could make their fans happy again with another brilliant showing in Portugal.
“It would be good; it would be amazing. It would be an amazing achievement,” Bassey said in quotes obtained from Herald Scotland.
“Boys dream of playing in the Europa League and Champions League and to get this far, you can’t put it into words. I was overwhelmed when it happened.
“Obviously, we played well and we just want to keep the form going and keep the form going to reach new boundaries and better ourselves and give good performances.
“Of course, Braga are a good team but we have gotten this far and hopes of getting further. We know that they are a good team and we know that we will have to be at our best.
“There is a bit of confidence taken from the games we have had previously against Dortmund and Red Star and what we have had to overcome.
“As someone said before, the character shown from us has been amazing and we will show that same character, that same drive and same passion and hopefully get a result in Portugal.”
Aside from Bassey, midfielder Joe Aribo and centre-back Leon Balogun are the other Nigerian internationals in the Rangers squad preparing to take on Braga.