Arthur Numan identifies two PSV players that Rangers must watch as he rates play-off tie ‘50-50’

The former Dutch international played for both clubs during his career and admits the play-off tie is too close to call.

Arthur Numan has warned Rangers they will need to prevent PSV stars Joey Veerman and Luuk de Jong from wrecking their Champions League dream.

The former Holland international, who served both clubs during his trophy-laden playing career, identified ex-Gers target Veerman and experienced striker de Jong as PSV’s two biggest goal threats.

Both players scored during the second leg of their third round qualifier against Monaco on Tuesday night to help set up a mouth-watering double header against Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side.

The first leg will take place at Ibrox next week and Numan reckons a win for the Glasgow giants would put them in a strong position ahead of travelling to the Netherlands the following week.

Writing in his 5Stars column, the 52-year-old said: “From a Rangers point of view, I would have referred the first leg in Holland. I always liked it better when we had the return leg at home.

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“Bui Gio van Bronckhorst will look to take any sort of lead to Eindhoven the following week. Any victory next Tuesday should be regarded as a positive step.

“I rate the tie as being 50-50 right now. Make no mistake, PSV have talented footballers and they are very strong and robust at the back. They are building a team to win the league title.

“In midfield, they have Joey Veerman. Rangers were linked with him this time last year and I think he’s a very capable performer.

“They also have Luuk de Jong. He is a very powerful striker and strong in the air. He feeds off crosses from wide areas and Rangers must be wary of him.

“He has played for Barcelona and Newcastle, so that shows the pedigree he has, but Rangers also have some very good players and they are clearly getting better together the more games they play.

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“As has been the case for a long period, Rangers will take a bit of stopping and PSV know this.”

The iconic left-back admits the criticism aimed at Van Bronckhorst and his players following the surprise loss in Belgium was ‘ridiculous’ as he talked up an intruiging head-to-head clash between the Gers boss and opposite number Ruud van Nistelrooy.

He added: “Giovanni picked the perfect line-up (versus USG) and may have surprised one or two people with his selection. But he does what he things is right. That’s why he will continue to be successful.

“Despite some of the ridiculous criticism aimed at him and a few of the players after the first leg, I always kept my confidence that Rangers would overturn the two-goal deficit. The 50,000 home crowd clearly rattled the Belgians and they struggled to cope.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst celebrates Rangers' win over Royale Union Saint-Gilloise.

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“PSV are now coached by van Nistelrooy, who joined them as a player in 1998, the summer I left for Ibrox.

“We were international team-mates and I’ve followed his career. Ruud is an established coach after serving his apprenticeship as youth team boss at PSV.

“There are similarities to Giovanni as both are very tactically astute, and they are also not afraid to make unpopular decisions.

“Rangers know what’s at stake in these games, they are just 180 minutes away from the £40m jackpot and the prestige of being in the Champions League.”