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Rangers Europa League crowd playoff first legs

Rangers await Europa League draw after topping group, avoiding big names. Some sure things already as playoff rounds continue.

Less than two weeks remain until Rangers find out their opponents in the Europa League's last 16. After a historic 3-2 victory over Real Betis in Seville, Philippe Clement's team secured the top spot in their group and can now focus on the tight Scottish Premiership title race with Celtic. However, thoughts will soon turn back to European competition and the potential for another successful run like in 2022.

Rangers are aware that they will avoid facing some heavyweights who are also seeded for the draw. The likes of Liverpool, Brighton, and West Ham from the English Premier League, as well as Bayer Leverkusen led by potential future Reds boss Xabi Alonso, are among the seeded teams. The rest of the seeded teams include Slavia Prague, Villarreal, and Atalanta, with eight more unseeded clubs still vying for a spot in the last 16.

While the second legs of the playoff rounds are yet to be played, some results from the first legs are already clear. AC Milan secured a 3-0 victory over Rennes at San Siro, while FK Qarabag of Azerbaijan surprised with a 4-2 win against SC Braga. Sporting CP also looks promising after a 3-1 win over ten-man Young Boys in Switzerland.

In other matches, Galatasaray and Sparta Prague both had players sent off, with Mauro Icardi's stoppage time goal giving Galatasaray a 3-2 win in Istanbul. Roma and Feyenoord played out a 1-1 draw in Rotterdam, while Benfica secured a late 2-1 victory over Toulouse in Lisbon. Shakhtar and Marseille shared four goals, and Lens and Freiburg ended their match goalless.

The anticipation for the Europa League draw is building, and Rangers are eager to see who they will face as they continue their European journey. With strong performances and surprising results in the first legs, the competition is heating up, and the potential for thrilling matchups in the last 16 is high.

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