Rangers announce plans for Portugal pre-season training camp including a friendly against English opposition

Giovanni van Bronckhorst and his players will head to the Algarve for a week of warm-weather training

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Rangers will head to Portugal for a pre-season training camp and have lined up a friendly against newly-promoted Sunderland at the Estadio Municipal de Albufeira.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst will put his Light Blues squad through their paces as the Dutchman steps up his preparations for the 2022/23 Premiership campaign.

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The Ibrox club rounded off a memorable season last term by lifting the Scottish Cup after victory over Hearts at Hampden as they bounced back from their Europa League final defeat in the searing heat of Seville.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst celebrates his first trophy as Rangers manager as he holds the Scottish Cup aloft at Hampden. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

The Gers squad will return to training at their Auchenhowie base in just over a fortnight’s time before flying out to the Algarve for a week of warm-weather training next month.

Portugal has proved to be a favoured destination for pre-season camps by several former Rangers managers, including Steven Gerrard who took his players there in 2019 before the pandemic.

As part of the trip, a match against English Championship-bound Sunderland will take place on July 9, where they will come up against some familiar faces.

The Black Cats, led by former Hamilton boss Alex Neil, are likely to unleash Scotland international and Gers signing target Ross Stewart during the clash.

A club statement read: “We are pleased to announce that an allocation of tickets will be available to Rangers supporters and more details on this will be communicated shortly.”

Van Bronckhorst will use the game as a stepping stone towards the start of the new season with one eye already on the Champions League qualifiers.

The Ibrox club previously announced a friendly match will take place against Premier League giants Tottenham Hotspur at Ibrox on July 23.