Steven Gerrard guides his Rangers side back into Europa League action with Gers facing an away match against Gibraltar National League side Lincoln Red Imps. The hosts are certainly no strangers to upsetting Scottish opposition, having beaten Celtic 1-0 at home in the Champions League qualifying stage four years ago.
Gers will be desperate to avoid a similar fate but are hot favourites at Betfair to continue their adventure with a comfortable win. This is a single leg contest so there will be no replay at Ibrox and no aggregate score. That ramps up the pressure on the Scots.
Elsewhere on the night we also have Motherwell and Aberdeen representing. The Dons travel to Viking and look to be up against it although the Steelmen are fancied to beat Coleraine on their own patch and progress to the next round. Let’s take a closer look at the betting markets attached to each game.
Lincoln Red Imps may enjoy home advantage for this match and know the single leg increases their chances of eliminating their Scottish opponents, but a tough night’s work lies ahead for the men from Winston Churchill Avenue. Red Imps are a semi-professional side that finished third in their division last season and have won only one of their previous seven outings in this competition.
Rangers battled through the Europa League from the first qualifying round to the Round of 16, eventually eliminated by German Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen 4-1 on aggregate. It was a memorial campaign for Gers and their supporters who will expect to see something similar this season. Rangers have played seven Scottish Premiership matches already and that will ensure they are up to speed and raring to go ahead of their trip to Gibraltar.
Gers hot favourites
There are no real surprises in the pre-match betting for this game and the Betfair traders have the Glaswegians as hot favourites to secure an away win and book their place in the next round. The Sportsbook quotes Rangers at 1/10 to win this match in 90 minutes with Red Imps available at 14/1 and 13/2 the draw.
The fact Rangers are unbeaten in the Scottish Premiership so far and are yet to concede a goal supports them as worthy favourites. Backers looking for a bit more for their stake money can try their luck on a Rangers win to nil which is 10/11 or there’s -2 on the handicap at 6/5. The latter looks worth a play and would do a job in accumulators.
We have an all-British affair in the Europa League qualifiers this Thursday when Northern Irish Premiership runners up Coleraine take on Motherwell in an intriguing match. The home team came through the previous round when upsetting the odds to defeat NK Maribor on the road but they needed penalties to do it. With the game locked at 1-1 after 90 minutes and extra-time the qualifying first round match was to be decided with a tense shoot-out and it was the Bannsiders who held their nerve, winning 5-4.
Motherwell were far more convincing in the previous round, handing out a stunning 5-1 defeat to another Northern Irish opponent in Glentoran. The Glens finished three places behind Coleraine in the Premiership last season and were swept aside by a rampant Well who had the game tied up inside 75 minutes.
Steelmen to bank an away win
Motherwell were in great form when making light work of Glens in the previous round and the Betfair Sportsbook trading team expect the Scottish Premiership club to go close to repeating the feat in this road trip. Motherwell are 4/6 for victory with Coleraine available at a decent 7/2.
The home team scored against Maribor last time out and are good enough to make things interesting and get themselves on the scoresheet again here. Both teams to score may catch the eye of accumulator backers with 8/13 offered. Motherwell -1 on the handicap is a healthy 2/1 and that will appeal to the value hunters.
Norwegian club Viking roll out the red carpet for Scottish Premiership representatives Aberdeen when the pair clash in the Europa League on Thursday. The home team suffered a disappointing domestic campaign last time, finishing down in fifth place despite boasting no less than eight top tier winners medals. The locals will be forced to shuffle their pack for this match after they lost a number of defensive players to injury.
Aberdeen were incredible in the previous round when collecting a 6-0 win over NSI Runavik at Pittodrie. The Dons have disappointed on Europa League duty in recent seasons but got off to the perfect start thanks to three goals from Ryan Hedges. Derek McInnes knows his men face a much tougher test here but will take heart from the injury woes of his opponents.
Dons up against it
Aberdeen sent out a message of intent in the last round but are as big as 9/5 on the Betfair Sportsbook to add an away win here. Viking rank as the home favourites and backers can get their hands on 6/5 about the hosts living up to expectations. The draw is 23/10.
There are many ways to bet on this game at Betfair outside of the match winner market with traders offering members the chance to spice up the action with a prediction on the outcome. Aberdeen draw no bet is 6/5.
Source: Betfair Europa League