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Rough guide to Group G

Lee McCulloch in action against Stuttgart
Rangers have twice met Stuttgart on recent Champions League duty

Rangers have been handed a relatively kind draw in Champions League Group G, up against Sevilla, Stuttgart and Unirea Urziceni.

Here, BBC Sport profiles the Ibrox club's opponents.

SEVILLA

How they got here: Third place in La Liga, 17 points behind winners Barcelona.

Nickname: Rojiblancos

Stadium: Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, capacity: 45,000

Star man: Brazilian striker Luis Fabiano has a formidable international strike rate, with 23 goals in 32 appearances. However, the former Porto and Sao Paulo man may be unsettled as his bid to join AC Milan was blocked by the club this summer.

Seville striker Luis Fabiano
Seville's Fabiano is a dangerous Brazilian striker

European pedigree: Uefa Cup winners in 2006 and 2007. Sevilla have a formidable European home record, losing just once to AZ Aalkmaar in the 2006-2007 Uefa Cup group stage. Knocked out in the round of 16 by Fenerbahce after a penalty shoot-out in the 2008 Champions League.

Previous meetings: 1962 Cup Winners' Cup: 4-0, 0-2

Good trip? Spain's fourth largest city was invaded by Celtic fans for the Uefa Cup final of 2003, with estimates of the travelling support on that occasion ranging from a staggering 60,000 to a mind-blowing 80,000.

The capital of Andalusia is a beautiful city packed with fantastic bars and boasting the best tapas in the country. The flamenco clubs are well worth a visit. No direct flights from Scotland but easy transfers and served by a splendid high-speed rail line from Madrid.

STUTTGART

How they got here: Third place in last season's Bundesliga, Stuttgart overcame Romanian side Timisoara by a 2-0 margin in the play-off round.

Nickname: Die Roten

Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Arena, capacity: 56,000

MY SPORT: DEBATE

Star man: Belarus midfield star Alexander Hleb returned to the club on loan from Barcelona this summer, while towering Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak has been recruited from Zenit St Petersburg to make up for the sale of Mario Gomez to Bayern Munich.

European pedigree: Uefa Cup runners-up 1989, Uefa Cup Winners' Cup runners-up 1998. Qualified from a group including Rangers in the 2003-04 Champions League but were eliminated in the first knockout round by Chelsea. Again grouped with Rangers in 2007-08, they finished bottom of the group.

Previous meetings: Champions League 2003-04: 2-1, 0-1 Champions League 2007-08: 2-1, 2-3

Good trip? The sixth biggest city in Germany is similar in size to Glasgow. Fans will fancy gathering at the Schillerplatz and Schlossplatz squares and the Germans take their beer very seriously.

No direct flights from Scotland but lots of straightforward connections. German trains are top notch - and they run on time.

UNIREA URZICENI

How they got here: Champions of Romania in just their third season in the top flight.

Nickname: Chelsea of Ialomita, because they are managed by former Blue, Dan Petrescu, and they have a similar badge and they err... play in blue.

Dan Petrescu
Unirea Urziceni are managed by Dan Petrescu

Stadium: The Tineretului Stadium only holds 7,000, so home ties will be played at Steaua Bucharest's home, which can accommodate 27,500.

Star man: Pablo Brandan is a tough tackling former Argentine Under-20 centre-half, while midfielder Iulian Apostol is a Romanian international.

European pedigree: Their only ever European sortie was in last season's Uefa Cup when they lost out in the first round to Hamburg.

Previous meetings: N/A

Good trip? A trek to Urziceni might have been a difficult proposition but Bucharest, population 2m, offers a mix of Communist-era brutalism and neo-classical beauty. Nicolae Ceausescu's old pad, the Palace of the Parliament, is the second biggest building in the world, so you probably can't miss it.

No direct flights from Scotland but the beer will be cheap and the coirba sounds tasty - a sour soup made from fermented bran, bacon, potatoes and beef or chicken.



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see also
British clubs avoid Euro giants
27 Aug 09 |  Europe


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