Referee Serdar Gozubuyuk is set to take charge of Rangers’ Europa League clash this evening.
Rangers’ prize for defying the odds in the last round of the Europa League is a tie against Red Star Belgrade, with tonight’s first leg being played at Ibrox, so it’s crucial that the Gers pick up a positive result.
The Gers have to carry their momentum from the last round, which saw them knock out Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund 6-4 on aggregate, but will know that getting a big result at Ibrox is crucial to their chances of progressing further in the competition.
Will Rangers win tonight?
It will be Gozubuyuk as the man in the middle at Ibrox tonight in what will only be his second Europa League match of the season.
What do the stats say?
As mentioned above, Gozubuyuk has only overseen one Europa League clash this season which was between FC Porto and Lazio, but it wasn’t a smooth game for him or either side, with the Dutch referee brandishing six yellow cards, which could be alarming for Rangers.
If Rangers fans think that was just a one-off, they should think again, as this season, Gozubuyuk has refereed 31 matches across several different competitions but has managed to dish out 115 yellow cards and three straight red cards.
This may point towards tonight’s massive match being a very stop-start affair that will likely suit Red Star Belgrade more than Rangers as more fouls and bookings are surely going to frustrate their fans.
Rangers lost their first two games in the group stages of the Europa League, but since then they have gone unbeaten, drawing and winning three apiece, which should put them in a good place ahead of tonight’s clash, especially considering the calibre of opposition they have faced so far.
Gozubuyuk has never taken charge of a game involving Rangers, but was the man in the middle when Scotland beat the Czech Republic in 2020, which saw him award Scotland a penalty that ended up being the winner.
This could be the added bit of confidence Rangers fans needed that this referee was on the side of their national team a few years ago, so may feel the same way towards the Gers tonight as they need everything to go for them and record an emphatic victory.