NK Osijek v Rangers preview: Steven Gerrard's side in Croatia for Europa League qualifier
Rangers beat FC Shkupi in the first round
Last Updated: 26/07/18 7:52pm
Steven Gerrard takes Rangers to face Croatian side NK Osijek on Thursday for the first leg of their second qualifying round in the Europa League.
The Scottish Premiership side have already seen off Macedonian side FC Shkupi in the first round - winning 2-0 on aggregate - and travel to Osijek this week.
The return leg will take place at Ibrox on August 2 and manager Gerrard is prepared for the task at hand.
"Preparations have gone well, we analysed what we did well against Shkupi and what we need to improve on this time," he told a pre-match press conference.
"I was clear and candid that we needed to find that extra bit of quality in the final third and when we get the opportunity to finish teams off we must be more ruthless and relentless, otherwise we will face difficulties.
"We have studied them a lot as we have known for quite some time they could potentially be an opponent. We've had time to analyse the team, the manager, their strengths and weaknesses.
"The preparation has gone very well, the players are well drilled in terms of what to expect.
"The important thing is to take it into the second leg and give ourselves the best chance. We can't win the tie tomorrow but we can certainly lose it so it's important we defend well and have a nice shape about us. We have to show more belief and aggression in terms of taking it to the opposition."
NK Osijek saw off Moldovan side Petrocub Hincesti with a 3-2 aggregate score, and the winner of this tie will face either Georgia's Chikhura Sachkhere or Slovenians Maribor in the third round.
This is NK Osijek's seventh European campaign, and despite never making it to the group stages, they came close last season. They made it to the final qualification round - knocking out PSV Eindhoven on the way - but were denied a spot in the group stages by Austria Vienna on away goals.
New loan signing Ryan Kent has been cleared to feature for Rangers and could make his debut on Thursday, but the game will come too soon for Roma loanee Umar Sadiq.
Gers have also travelled without Scott Arfield (knee), Declan John (back), Lee Wallace (groin), Jordan Rossiter (ankle) and Graham Dorrans (knee) for the second qualifying round first-leg clash in Croatia, while Lee Hodson has been omitted from the squad submitted to UEFA.