Why is Rangers’ Europa League clash against Braga on Wednesday night?

Europa League fixtures usually take place on Thursday nights but Rangers have been granted an exception because of the fixture congestion in Portugal.

Braga’s rivals Porto are due to play Bayer Leverkusen tomorrow night at the Estadio do Dragao.

Porto’s stadium’s is just 45 minutes away from Braga, which would put immense pressure on the area as thousands of fans follow their teams.

As a result, UEFA have opted to move the match forward to today to avoid any potential issues between supporters.

Although Steven Gerrard’s side only need a draw to progress to the next round, the Gers boss is adamant he will not play for a draw in Portugal.

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“We want to come here and carry a threat,” he said.

“If we’ve got the right game-plan and we carry it out to the best of our ability, then we can cause problems or create chances.

“Then, it is obviously over to individual players to go and execute.”

The former Liverpool midfielder added that while his side are favourites, he wants to prevent any complacency creeping into the squad.

He said: “I don’t think my opinion on who is favourites tomorrow is very important. What we know is we have a very difficult 90 minutes ahead – a real, big challenge.


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“We have a small advantage going into the game, but in no way do we think we are favourites and in no way do we feel we have any reason to be over-confident.

“We are playing against a fantastic team who are in real, strong form. Again they won at the weekend, so we need to be ready and we need to try and play as close to our best as we can.”

Braga will be full of confidence ahead of Gerrard’s visit after they beat Vitoria Setubal 3-1 to move third in the Primeira Liga.

In contrast, Rangers lost more ground on league leaders Celtic last weekend after they were held to a 2-2 draw by St Johnstone.

The Light Blues are now 12 points behind their bitter rivals but have a game in hand.


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Gerrard’s side face a trip to bottom of the league Hearts this weekend in the quarter-final of the Scottish Cup.

The 39-year-old is yet to win any silverware during his managerial career but will be confident of beating an out of form Hearts to progress to the semi-final.

The Jam Tarts are winless in their last four matches, losing two, and may be prioritising their league campaign over success in the cup.

Hearts trail Hamilton by three points and have the same goal difference as their relegation rivals, meaning a win would move them off the bottom of the table.

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