As Rangers take on Portuguese side Braga in their first European knockout game since 2011, Steven Gerrard says his side are prepared for VAR ahead of its debut in the Europa League on Thursday night.
The Gers take on Braga at Ibrox in their last-32 first leg and Gerrard insists that his players are ready for the challenges that come with the technology.
According to him, the players are well aware of how to act and what to do in certain situations, It will be slightly different to what we’re used to so everyone will have to be ready for that experience’ ’
“I think the most important thing to come out of it was to keep playing. There are certain situations where a flag can go up or a flag can stay down, in normal situations that might lead you to stop or wait, so it’s important we play until the very end.
“It’s important that we don’t make any gesture to VAR or try and crowd around the referee and go to the monitor. They’ve made it very clear that they will act in that situation and dish yellow cards out.
It was decided in September that VAR would be used in the Europa League after the group stages following a successful appearance in the Champions League.
Gerrard doffs cap for Braga
After some good recent results, Braga currently sit third in the Primeira Liga and Gerrard knows that his side will have to put in an improved performance if they are to progress over two legs.
Braga remained unbeaten against Wolves in the Europa League group stages
“They are the form team in Portugal right now. Over the last four or five weeks, they’ve won a cup final against Porto, they’ve beaten Sporting Lisbon and Benfica, so we’ve got nothing but respect for them,” he said.
“They’ve had good performances against Wolves and done really well to get out of the group. We know the challenge, we’ve been underdogs in this competition since the group stages so I don’t think anything changes there.
Braga’s Betting Odds
Braga cannot be underestimated, as they are unbeaten in 10 Europa League fixtures this season, winning eight of those matches.
Brondby were brushed aside 7-3 on aggregate in the qualifiers and Spartak Moscow seen off 3-1, with Braga winning all four games.
They were then the joint-top scorers during the pool stage, scoring 15 goals alongside AZ Alkmaar.
Slovan Bratislava and Besiktas were only moderate opponents in Group K, but two clashes with Wolves command respect.
Braga opened up with a 1-0 triumph at Molineux and came back from 3-1 down at half-time to draw 3-3 with Wanderers in Portugal.
Young midfielder Francisco Trincao will join Barcelona for £26million this summer, while Abel Ruiz has impressed since arriving on loan from the Catalan giants.
However, it remains to be seen how these hot prospects will react to playing in a white-hot atmosphere at Ibrox and we fear the occasion could get to them.
Let’s finish off our Rangers vs Braga betting tips by taking 13/2 for a 1-0 home win.