Real Betis manager Manuel Pellegrini is expecting to come up against a “big” Rangers team when the two sides meet on Thursday (14 December).
Speaking in his pre-match press conference on Wednesday (13 December, via BBC Sport), the Chilean said it is important for the La Liga club to “take note” of the Gers after their 13-game unbeaten record.
The former Manchester City boss added that the Light Blues switched managers from Michael Beale to Philippe Clement because they “wanted to make some changes” as he expects to come up against a different team from the side that beat the Seville-based club 1-0 at Ibrox earlier this season.
“It’s important for us to take note if a team goes 13 games in a row unbeaten,” said Pellegrini. “There is a lot of trust when we play against every rival. But we know Rangers changed their manager because they wanted to make some changes.
“It will not be the same team when we played against them in Glasgow. Tomorrow we expect a big team as always when Rangers play in international cups”.
This is an excellent opportunity for the Rangers players to show how much progress they have made under Philippe Clement over the past couple of months.
While the Gers boss has had an excellent start to life in Glasgow, this is by far the biggest test he has faced since taking over at the club.
The Seville-based side have only lost one of their 17 games since they suffered the 1-0 defeat at Ibrox as they sit top of the group and seventh in La Liga.
The Light Blues come into the clash a bit weaker than Clement would have hoped as several first-team players have been ruled out through injury.
But the Belgian will be looking for the players he does have at his disposal to step up and earn their side a place in the next round of the competition, with a victory needed to ensure their passage through.
A draw could be enough for them, though, if Sparta Prague fail to beat Aris Limassol when they make the trip to Cyprus.