THE final hurdle has now been put in Giovanni van Bronckhorst's path. It will be one of the most difficult that Rangers have had to overcome as the Champions League finishing line comes into view.

A rousing 3-0 victory over Union Saint-Gilloise - earned thanks to goals from James Tavernier, Antonio Colak and Malik Tillman - has set up a play-off round clash with PSV Eindhoven.

Rangers are one tie away from a long-awaited return to the group stages but that ambition is shared by the Eredivisie giants who are guided by Dutch legend Ruud van Nistelrooy.

PSV booked their place in the final qualification round by seeing off Monaco as an extra time victory on home soil followed a 1-1 draw in the first leg the previous week.

Here, Herald and Times Sport speaks to PSV correspondent Rik Elfrink of the Eindhovens Dagblad to assess five key issues ahead of one make-or-break, all-or-nothing tie that will make headlines at home and abroad over the next fortnight.


RE: It was a very tough game for PSV and, to be honest, I think Monaco were the better team in the biggest part of the match.

Nevertheless, it was PSV that scored three times and I think they were very efficient. Monaco had some chances and were better in possession but they were not able to score more.

Of course PSV were a little bit lucky, but that is football sometimes. It was really tight but when you win you don’t feel the pain, you don’t care if it is narrow and there is relief and excitement.

It is always difficult to say after the game if it was deserved or not but they deserved to win because they scored the goals.

When you look at the game, Monaco would have normally had the bigger chance to win but they didn’t score enough goals. That is why PSV were promoted to the play-offs of the Champions League.


RE: It is the same for Rangers and for every club, of course it is important for PSV to reach the group stages of the Champions League.

It is good for the presence of the club and it is something really big to be at that level. It is important for how people inside and outside the Netherlands look at PSV and it gives them kudos.

Also the money is important and with that money they can buy players to build a stronger team, they can develop the academy or other things around the club.

The money is very important in trying to compete with the Premier League, for example, because for PSV it is not the same playing field.

They need to reach the group stages of the Champions League to get that 35 or 40 million Euros extra. It will be very difficult for them against Rangers.


RE: It will not be easy for PSV against a very good Rangers team.

They have an excellent coach in Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who knows Ruud van Nistelrooy very well. The families know each other and for them this will be a very special game.

Gio did an incredible job last year to reach the final of the Europa League and he was very impressive here with Feyenoord.

He is a very good coach, he has shown his quality. When you look at the Rangers team, of course there are some good players there. It will be very difficult for PSV.


RE: The fans in Glasgow are incredible, they are really exciting football lovers. It will be tough for PSV but I am sure they will also enjoy it.

The football culture in Scotland is fantastic and all the players and the supporters from here will travel and enjoy it.

The match will not be easy but football is also about enjoying the game and that will be the case in both of these matches. Then, it is let the best team win.


RE: There are some real quality players in the team. The striker, Luuk de Jong, is very strong and I think he is the Harry Kane of the Netherlands.

He played last year for Barcelona and has now made the step to PSV as the main striker. He is very good in the air and you can reach him on the ground very well, I think he has improved that aspect of his football at Barcelona.

Cody Gakpo is a left-winger with a very good shot from distance, he is always very dangerous, and he always has good crosses. They are the most dangerous players of PSV but they also have other players like Joey Veerman, who is also able to score goals.

They have a strong goalkeeper in Walter Benitez, who came over from OGC Nice. He has improved their goalkeeper position and he is now the number one who has made some great saves.

Ibrahim Sangaré is very good against the ball. He is from the Ivory Coast and he is a player who could have gone to the Premier League but he decided at the weekend to extend his contract at PSV until 2027 and that was a big positive for the club.