DARIUSZ Adamczuk has warned his former club Rangers that Lech Poznan will be far more formidable opponents than they were in their Europa League defeat to Benfica due to Slovakian centre half Lubomir Satka returning from suspension.

Poznan lost 4-2 at home to their Portuguese rivals in their opening Group D match in the Miejski Stadium in Poland last Thursday night.

Hopes are high among the Ibrox club’s fans that Steven Gerrard’s team can build on their triumph against Standard Liege in Belgium and record another victory tomorrow evening.

However, Adamczuk, who is now sporting director at Ekstraklasa club Pogoń Szczecin, believes head coach Dariusz Zuraw badly missed Satka and expects Lech to be much stronger at the back with the defender involved.

“Lech played without their best centre half against Benfica last week because Satka was suspended,” he said. “They lost four goals because of that. But he is available and they will be far tougher to score against because of his presence on the park.

“Lech bought him for €500,000 last year and he has done well for them. He played in every game for Lech in qualification and they only lost one goal, to Charleroi of Belgium in their last match. They scored 13 goals. He has played very well for them this season and is an important player.”

However, Adamczuk, the Polish internationalist who played in the Champions League and UEFA Cup with Rangers during his three years at Ibrox, reckons the midfield is the strongest area of the Poznan side.

“Lech changed their strategy last season,” he said. “It was a little bit of a surprise in Poland. They used to play with seven or eight foreign players. Last season they promoted youngsters from their academy. Now they have a mix of experienced overseas players and very talented young guys.

“The Europa League is a new experience for a lot of their players. Lech haven’t played in the group stages of the competition for five years. It is difficult for any team that plays in the Polish league to make the step up to European football and do well.

“But Dani Ramirez, their Spanish midfielder, and Pedro Tiba, who is a Portuguese playmaker, are very experienced. Jakub Moder, who is on loan from Brighton in England, plays alongside them in the middle of the park. He made his debut for Poland earlier this month.

“For me, those three players are the heart of the side. But outside them, Jakub Kaminski, their winger, is a threat. He has played well this season.”

Swedish striker Michal Ishak signed for Poznan from Nurnburg in Germany during the summer and he has taken little time to settle in to the Polish game – he scored both of his side’s goals against Benfica last week to take his tally for the season to six.

Adamczuk feels the Rangers defence will need to mark Ishak closely to rack up their 14th clean sheet of the 2020/21 campaign. “He is a typical No9,” he said. “He isn’t the fastest, he likes to stay in the box,. But he holds the ball up well and has a good nose for a goal from inside the area.”

There will be no fans inside the 43,269-capacity Miejski Stadium tomorrow due to the coronavirus pandemic and Adamczuk reckons that will increase Rangers’ chances of defeating Poznan.

“The stadium was redeveloped for Euro 2012,” he said. “Before Covid, there were 40,000 fans there for every Lech home game. They have passionate supporters There was always a great atmosphere when it was full. If it was full it would be difficult for Rangers.”