On Thursday evening, Rangers look to finish off the job they started last week with a 4-2 away win over FC Midtjylland, in order to qualify for the final play-off round for this season’s Europa League. It was an impressive performance from Rangers, who have raced out of the traps this season, and did particularly well to defeat a well-run side that have a 100% record in their domestic league.
Steven Gerrard’s Rangers have navigated the early weeks of their season extremely well, which is impressive given a small bump could have a derailing effect on their entire season. In the league, dropping points could prove damaging against the relentless pace of Celtic, while a European defeat would knock them out before even making it to the Europa League proper. But they’ve won two games out of two in the league, the first courtesy of a late winner and the last an emphatic 6-1 mauling of Hibs, and have sailed through the early European qualifiers ably. Midtjylland, on the other hand, look to have suffered an extremely damaging blow in last week’s 4-2 defeat – unless they can pull off an impressive comeback at Ibrox, any ambitions of European football this season will have died, although they’ve done well to win all five games in the Danish Superliga.
Jermain Defoe showed that he’s still got it in Sunday’s 6-1 win over Hibernian, contributing a hat-trick himself. The veteran may drop back onto the bench however, with Gerrard opting to choose his favoured eleven, which includes hot-headed Colombian forward and last season’s top scorer, Alfredo Morelos, leading the line. He scored the opener in last week’s win and underlined what a special player he is with two goals off the bench on Sunday. Elsewhere, Liverpool loanee Sheyi Ojo scored on the weekend and is pushing for a place in the team. Plenty to consider for the former Liverpool captain, but they’re all good problems to have.
Kenneth Andersen will have taking some consolation from his team’s ability to score a couple of goals last week, bringing it briefly back to 3-2 after going three goals down inside the first hour. He’ll depend on last week’s goalscorers Sory Keba and Ogochukwu Frank to deliver the goods again, which will be necessary as only three or more goals would take them through at Ibrox. Former Celtic defender Erik Sviatchenko had a horror show against his old rivals in the backline last time out, but will likely be trusted to feature once again on his return to Glasgow.
Midtjylland are a solid side, who have had a great start to the season domestically and finished with a respectable finish last year, and a track record of making it into the Europa League in years gone by. It’s possible that last week’s disastrous defeat was simply an off-night. Although they’ve surely give themselves too much to do to qualify, it’s not unthinkable they respond by getting a draw or narrow win – you can back double chance with Bet365 at 2.20. There’s every chance free scoring Rangers continue their goal glut, and if so there’s no likelier goalscorer than Morelos, who has three goals in his last two games and can be backed at 2.00 to score anytime. Expect plenty of goals all round once again – over 2.5 hsas a price of 1.70.