12th of December 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
Rangers will have to go all out for the win when they meet Rapid Wien at Allianz Stadium on Thursday, it is their only chance qualify for the next stage of the competition from UEFA Europa League Group G. On the other hand, Rapid Wien can not afford to lose the match, they could qualify for the next round even with a draw. The reverse fixture was won by Rangers 3-1, Valon Berisha had opened the scoring for Rapid but the home side replied with two goals from Alfredo Morelos and another one from James Tavernier. The two teams had not met since 1964, when Rangers defeated Rapid both home and away in the European Champions Clubs' Cup.
Rapid Wien are second in the group table thanks to their solid performances at home, they have defeated Spartak Moscow 2-0 and grabbed a goalless draw against Villarreal at home, while their last away match produced a 2-1 victory at Spartak Moscow. However, they got thrashed 5-0 by Villarreal in Spain, and that was quite a shameful result for them. They are also struggling in the Austrian Bundesliga, they are down in eighth place at the moment with just five wins in seventeen matches. Ivan Mocinic and Andrija Pavlovic are injured for the home side, while Mario Sonnleitner is a fresh injury concern after having picked up a knock during last week's goalless draw against Sturm Graz.
Rangers have only one solution to the qualification problem in Group G, they have to win at Rapid and that might prove quite difficult since they only grabbed one point away from home so far. Last time out they got held to a goalless draw at home by Villarreal, not the result they needed after having lost 4-3 at Spartak Moscow. That was their only defeat in the five group matches, while the only victory was the 3-1 over Rapid. Last week Rangers grabbed a 1-1 draw at Dundee FC in the Scottish Premier League and they are currently second. Daniel Candeias is suspended for this match, while Jamie Murphy and Graham Dorrans are both injured.
Rapid: Strebinger - Muldur, Barac, Hofmann, Potzmann - Schwab, Ljubicic - Berisha, Murg, Ivan - Alar
Rangers: McGregor - Tavernier, Goldson, Worrall, Flanagan - Coulibaly, Ejaria - Kent, Arfield, Middleton - Morelos
My prediction: Rangers to win 2-1, the Scottish team should prevail if they manage to put Rapid under enough pressure.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Rapid win - 2.30
Draw - 3.40
Rangers win - 3.00
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12th of December 2018
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The Rangers side has left themselves too much to do in the last match, especially when it's an away game to the decent Rapid Wien team, so no wonder really that they've even lost the game after a late goal when they've been chasing the winning goal with a maximum risk in their play really.
Probably that's been the story for Rangers in this years EL participation..not being able to gain anything(or more than a point) in a close games....so they and the manager Gerrard should learn from that experience.
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