JAMES Tavernier is hoping VAR doesn’t kill the atmosphere inside Ibrox tonight - and impact upon Rangers’ chances of winning the first leg of the Europa League last 32 double header against Braga.

A capacity crowd is set to cram into the Govan ground for the visit of the Portuguese club and Tavernier is fully expecting the home supporters to once again be his side’s 12th man.

They are undefeated in all 14 of their home matches they have played in Europe under Steven Gerrard since the Liverpool and England great was appointed manager before the start of last season.

Captain and right back Tavernier knows that having majority of the 50,000-strong crowd firmly behind them has been a major factor in their success in continental competition and is keeping his fingers crossed VAR doesn’t silence them.

“I’m not too much of a fan of the (VAR) offside and the way it slows the game down,” he said. “It’s a bit up in the air, but we need to take it in our stride and get on with it.

“It is something new for everybody, but hopefully it doesn’t affect the atmosphere. I believe when you have 50,000 screaming at the top of their lungs it does have an effect.

“We have had games with that previously and you see players don’t stuff you don’t expect. They give the ball away due to being under pressure and you see it happening around Europe. No matter how experienced you are always capable of making a mistake when the fans are right behind their team.”

Tavernier added: “We have to start fast and be aggressive. We have got to take our chances to put ourselves in a good position for second leg.

“We want to try and leave the game with a clean sheet and be more clinical than we have been in the last few games.”

Tavernier, who spent several weeks on the sidelines when play restarted after the winter shutdown after undergoing an appendix operation, believes playing European opposition suits Rangers.

And he is hoping the visit of Braga will see the Ibrox club, who have fallen 10 points behind Celtic in the Ladbrokes Premiership table in 2020, rediscover the spark which has been lacking from their play.

“I believe we have played some very good teams in the competition, especially in the group stage,” he said. “We have been going into games as underdogs and a facing an attacking style of play. That really suits our style of play and the games have taken care of themselves.

“They are definitely not going to sit with 11 men behind the ball. They are in great form at the minute and we know it will be a tough test. But, with the home leg first and our fans behind us we need to get at them right from the start.”

Tavernier added: “Last year the European games kept us in good momentum. We took a lot from those games so I hope we get a right good performance against Braga and that can take us through to the end of the season.

“I’m happy being at home first as we know what we have to do when we go over there. Now we have got to put on a display the fans will be proud of.

“Since coming back from break the form has not been there. It is gradually getting better but the level is still not where we want it. Hopefully, this can be the turning point.”

Tavernier was relieved of responsibility for penalty kicks earlier on this season after a string of misses – including against Feyenoord in a Europa League group game - but since then both Alfredo Morelos and Scott Arfield have failed to convert spot kicks.

The defender has stressed that he is prepared to step forward once again. “I’m always available to take the penalties,” he said. “I respect the gaffer and whoever he chooses but I will be ready if called on. I will have to wait until just before the game to see if I am on them.”