RANGERS are being tipped to beat Legia Warsaw and reached the Europa League group stages – by a former CELTIC player!

Steven Gerrard’s side are preparing for the trip to Poland for the first leg of their play-off on Thursday night.

And ex-Hoops striker Jacki Dziekanowski, who had two stints at Legia, reckons the Ibrox side are meeting his old team at the right time.

He insists the Poles have been too hasty when it comes to sacking managers with Jacek Magiera and Henning Berg both dismissed in recent seasons.

Fifty-six-year-old Dziekanowski, who works as a TV pundit these days, told the Daily Record: “Rangers are favourites because they have made big progress. Their ambition is to catch Celtic and become champions.

“They appointed Steven Gerrard who is a very ambitious coach with a bright future and they have quality players.

“They have made a fantastic start to the league campaign with eight goals in two games, but Legia are struggling for form. If they don’t drastically improve then Rangers will definitely win.

“Last season they lost to Dudelange which was very disappointing. For most of the players it will be a big test because they haven’t faced a team like Rangers before and are inexperienced at this level.”

WELCOME TO THE BHOYS…Billy McNeill greets Jacki Dziekanowski at Parkhead in 1989.

Aleksandar Vukovic is the man in charge against Gers, but Dziekanowski has not been impressed with European outings so far as they have overcome Europa, KPS Kuopio and Atromitos.

The former Hoops froward, who cost Billy McNeill £650,000 when he arrived from the Warsaw club in 1989, added: “Legia didn’t play well against poor teams from Gibraltar, Finland and Greece, so Rangers will be a big test.

“Legia are under pressure to get into the group stage because they need money for transfers.

“But they are trying to find their form under Vukovic who was assistant coach and caretaker before his permanent appointment.

“The supporters are waiting for a good performance and believe it will come against Rangers.

“The player who most impresses me is Carlitos who was top scorer two years ago, but he has been on the bench. Why has he been on the bench? Most of the fans are asking the same question.

“He is a creative player, but the manager leaves him on the bench. Maybe he is saving him for Glasgow Rangers!”


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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