RANGERS can today confirm that Ibrox Stadium will host three friendly matches in July against Oxford United, Olympique Marseille and Blackburn Rovers. 

Ahead of the Light Blues’ return to European football, Oxford will visit Govan on Sunday, July 7 before French giants Marseille travel to Glasgow on Sunday, July 14.

Rangers will then welcome Tony Mowbray and his Blackburn Rovers players to the stadium on Sunday, July 21 with all three fixtures being played at 3pm.

The friendlies will provide Steven Gerrard’s men with important game time in front of the Ibrox faithful as the club gears up for crucial European qualifiers and another exciting domestic campaign.

Former Liverpool Academy coach Karl Robinson is the manager of Oxford and The U’s finished 12th in League One, the third tier of English football, in 2018/19.

33-year-old Jamie Mackie made 48 appearances for the club, scoring six goals, last term and the Scot, who has nine international caps and previously played for Nottingham Forest, Reading and QPR, adds experience to Robinson’s squad having joined Oxford in July 2018.

Marseille, of course, need no introduction and Rangers have faced the Ligue 1 club on four occasions in the past.

The first meeting was a friendly played at Ibrox on 28 July 1992 and goals from Rudi Voller and Didier Deschamps gave the visitors a 2-1 victory.

The Gers went on to face OM in the memorable Champions League campaign of 1992/93, with the sides drawing 2-2 at Ibrox in November and 1-1 at the Stade Velodrome in April before Raymond Goethals’ men beat AC Milan to lift the trophy in Munich.

Marseille were invited back to Ibrox for a friendly on 22 July 2017 and once again this game finished a draw, with Valere Germain scoring on 63 minutes before Gers playmaker Niko Kranjcar found the net with a stunning free-kick to equalise.

Marseille have confirmed this week that former Chelsea and Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas will be their new manager after Rudi Garcia’s recent departure.

The club finished fifth in Ligue 1 in 2018/19 but have a talented squad which includes club captain Dimitri Payet.

Rangers and Blackburn Rovers met on 21 occasions from 1879 to 1905 after the clubs were formed in 1872 and 1875 respectively. And in July 2010 they faced each other at the Sydney Festival of Football in Australia.

In front of a crowd of 14,153 at the Sydney Stadium goals from Maurice Edu and Kenny Miller gave Walter Smith’s side a 2-1 win.

Tony Mowbray is now the manager at Ewood Park and Blackburn finished their 2018/19 Championship season in 15th place.

Their squad includes club captain and former Celtic defender Charlie Mulgrew and striker Danny Graham, who was named Rovers’ Player of the Year in April after scoring 15 league goals.

Ticket prices for the three friendlies will be confirmed in due course.

Article Copyright © 2020. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and hyperlink to www.rangers.co.uk