Ex-Liverpool striker Michael Owen believes his former side are on a different level to last season’s Europa League finalists and insists Rangers will require a “miracle” to win at Anfield on Tuesday night.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side, who eased to a resounding 4-0 over Hearts in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday, take on the Reds in a blockbuster Champions League ‘Battle of Britain’ clash - the first ever competitive meeting between the sides.
Liverpool continued their worst start to a Premier League season since 2014/15 at the weekend with a 3-3 home draw against Brighton & Hove Albion, leaving Jurgen Klopp’s men with only 10 points from their opening seven matches.
Klopp reckons his side are suffering a confidence crisis at present, but BT Sports pundit Owen is confident his old club will have too much for the Glasgow giants.
He said: “It’s amazing they have never met, but Rangers won’t have played a team like Liverpool for a long time, and they’re going to need to pull a miracle off to in at Anfield.
“They have the pedigree and experience of big games, but it’s unlikely they will win. The gap in player quality is big.
“This sort of match would usually be a classic. Rangers are used to these big games, but I don’t think they are used to playing a team as good as Liverpool.
“With the poor results they have had in the group so far, they will be a bit nervous. It might be a different story at Ibrox, but not at Anfield.”
Rangers have yet to register any points in Group A after conceding seven goals to Ajax and Napoli in their first two group fixtures without scoring.
Liverpool also suffered a dismal 4-1 defeat to Napoli and had to rely on a late goal to see off Ajax 2-1.
Despite their recent dip in form, Owen praised Van Bronckhorst for the job he has done since replacing Steven Gerrard last November and also reserved praise for Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou for the way he has transformed the club.
He stated: “Against Napoli, Liverpool were really poor, the result was a fair reflection of how badly they played. They didn’t play great against Ajax either, so they will have breathed a sigh of relief they got the points.
“Their form hasn’t been great for most of the season. While Rangers have European pedigree, they have been walloped twice as well.
“It’s difficult to say how much the gap in standard is, but they did really well in Europe last season, and I’ve seen Celtic playing well this season. I actually think Scottish football is in really good health this season, both teams look pretty strong.
“Ange Postecoglou is pretty exceptional, and he’ll be in high demand because of the way he’s gone about things at Celtic. So the Scottish game is as strong as it’s been for a long time.
“With Rangers dipping out for a few years it put a dampner on things, but now they are back, it’s pushed Celtic to another level.
“Van Bronckhorst has also done a fantastic job. He’ll be disappointed with the first couple of results in the Champions League, but it’s a tough group. They have had some setbacks this season to Celtic and in Europe, but they are improving.”