Rangers hopes lie in Europe
Rangers saw their title hopes evaporate at the weekend with a late collapse against Kilmarnock. Can they bounce back with victory in Europe against Braga? Have a read of our preview here:
They think it’s all over, it probably is now
The defeat to Kilmarnock at the weekend probably puts to bed the title race in Scotland for another season. Rangers allowed two late goals to allow Alex Dyer’s side all three points leaving Gers 10 back from rivals Celtic.
It was a hard one to swallow for Steven Gerrard, but the form recently has been dipping and the warning have been there.
Even so, this has been a season where Rangers progressed again and with a bit more depth, especially in attacking areas, you’d expect them to continue to improve again next season.
One recent highlight for the Glasgow giants has been the emergence of defender George Edmundson. The former Oldham defender scored his first goal for the club in the win over Hibs and has shown he is more than capable of playing in the Scottish Premiership.
He was, strangely, back on the bench for the defeat against Killie, but may be recalled as Braga roll into town. Regardless, Gers need to find a way of being more threatening going forward and goals will be needed to see off perennial European contenders Braga on Thursday.
Braga not to be taken lightly
Braga are the side that always perform well but never quite have enough to challenge the status quo in Portuguese football.
They play in an iconic stadium with set within the walls of a mountain, hence its nickname The Quarry, and they have an ability to beat the best on their day – highlighted by their victory at league leaders Benfica at the weekend.
The squad has a lot of technically gifted players and will give Rangers a real test on Thursday. Scottish sides have not fared well in European competition for quite a while and Braga is just the sort of side capable of damaging Steven Gerrard’s hopes of progression this season.
Paulinho has netted nine times for them this season while Ricardo Horta has five to his name but, arguably, the key man in this team is midfielder Joao Palhinha, who sits deep and dictates the play for Ruben Amorim’s side.
Wenderson Galeno is another potential threat, giving the Ranger’s defence plenty to be concerned about.
Rangers vs Braga betting tip
Rangers have nothing to lose in the Europa League this season. They should go for it on Thursday when they host Braga. Their attacking players have struggled of late but we are still backing both teams to score at odds of 10/11 with bet365.