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The potential Rangers Champions League qualifying rivals revealed as Clement faces prospect of emotional reunion

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dailyrecord.co.uk

Rangers were dreaming of taking part in the Europa League Final in Dublin this season but their hopes were ended by Benfica.But it will be worth still having an eye on events at the Aviva Stadium in Ireland because one outcome might suit them – as it would remove of the possibility of facing the Portuguese giants who eliminated them in next season’s Champions League qualifiers!Benfica lost out on the Portuguese Primeira Liga title to Lisbon rivals Sporting this season in a similar scenario to Rangers themselves who are just waiting for Celtic to be crowned champions.

However, Benfica still have a chance of skipping the qualifiers for UEFA’s premier competition next season and going straight into the most lucrative ever group stage with the revamped format.And that will come if Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen complete their stunning unbeaten campaign and defeat Italians Atalanta to lift the Europa League.

The reason for that is because if this season's winners of the Europa League also qualify for the Champions League by their league position – as the Germans have done – then the team in the Champions League qualifiers with the best five-year record gets bumped up.

Rangers themselves were actually in contention for that but with Benfica missing out, it would go to them.The Ibrox side still have the Scottish Cup Final to look forward to on Saturday week as they to end a roller-coaster season on a high.

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