Big matchup takes place at Ibrox this Thursday night, with the Rangers hosting Sparta Prague in a direct clash for the knockout stage. Both teams have four points in the same number of rounds, but the home-court advantage will be on the Gers’ side. Still, that doesn’t have to mean anything, as lately, the Scottish powerhouse posts mixed results. Steven Gerrard’s departure no doubt took a toll both in the locker room and on the field. On the other side, the Czech unit comes following a very unpleasant loss in the domestic championship this weekend, overwhelmed with injuries.
Glasgow Rangers (-110) have a big task ahead of them. They need to beat the Czechs with two or more goals difference and hope that Lyon defeats Brondby in order to enter the next stage. However, after seeing them playing against Hibernian in the semis of the League Cup, and a 1-3 loss, we aren’t that sure in the Gers’ strength anymore.
Steven Gerrard kept everything under control during his stint, but the sudden departure left everyone in shock. The former Liverpool legend took over Aston Villa, and for sure hopes to make a name of himself back home and one day become the Reds’ manager.
Rangers had one hell of a defense in the past two years, but that aspect of their game got worsened in recent times. Believe it or not, the Scottish champions have allowed a goal in each of the past six events, and all of them ended with both sides scoring. Just one didn’t finish with three or more goals.
Sparta Prague (+350) suffered one of the toughest losses this year back on Sunday. Slovacko was better at home, 4-0, putting a show over one of the best teams in the country. For a long time, we haven’t seen one domestic opponent breaking Sparta like this.
That event was the fourth in a row with three or more goals and only one during that span was without four or more hits. The club from Prague isn’t very confident on the road in this championship, and they haven’t won in the latest three trips outside their stadium.
Though, one thing is sure when Sparta plays away from home – high efficiency. Seven of their 10 games on the road were with three or more goals, and five of those seven had four scores at least.
Filip Helander and Nnamdi Ofoboroh are out for the home side.
Ondrej Celustka, Casper Hojer, Lukas Julis, Jakub Pesek, and Mateh Polidar are all unavailable for the guests, while Filip Soucek’s condition is still unclear.
Head to Head Games
The two sides met in 1991, and Sparta eliminated Rangers on an away goal rule. The most recent event took place in Prague in late September, with the hosts winning 1-0.
We expect to see high efficiency here, as both teams have massive struggles in defense at the moment. The respective attacks are better parts of the teams, and that is why our pick for Thursday’s contest is Over 2.5 goals.
Pick: Over 2.5 goals -105
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.