With the Spanish media anticipating the arrival of many Rangers fans today, there’s several media reports detailing the concerns and tactics to prevent any trouble.
More than 3000 fans of the Glasgow club are expected to travel to cheer on Steven Gerrard’s men, and they’ll be hopeful of a good result after battering Dundee at the weekend.
Alfredo Morelos is suspended, but with Lassana Coulibaly, Ryan Kent, James Tavernier and Glenn Middleton all scoring against Dundee, Gerrard won’t be overly concerned about a lack of options to score goals.
Tactics to deal with fans have been detailed by El Periodico Mediterraneo, Villarreal’s major local newspaper.
It’s explained ‘extreme measures’ are being taken to avoid trouble. Firstly, the biggest concentration is trying to make sure the 1000 Rangers fans without tickets don’t end up in the home end.
Villarreal are therefore not selling spare tickets to British people, there’s no box office sales today, and fans have had to pick their tickets up in person.
The newspaper continues pushing the seriousness of the operation and precautions being taken, local and national police are involved, on top of the club’s own security operation.
To explain the concern for a Spanish audience, El Periodico Mediterraneo go over various incidents with Rangers fans. Trouble in Barcelona in 2007 is detailed, and then the mess made of Manchester in 2008.
It’s stated that in 2010, Rangers fans urinated on home fans when playing away to Valencia, and the recent knife attacks also get coverage.
But, it’s fair to point out the Spanish newspaper adds it’s not all Rangers fans, explaining the ‘bulk’ of them have proven themselves to be absolutely fine when travelling.
A ‘minority’ of ‘radical’ fans is what’s causing the worry.