Lincoln Red Imps vs RangersUEFA Europa League, KO: 16:00 Sep 17, 2020, Victoria Stadium
RANGERS will begin their bid to reach the Europa League group stages in Gibraltar on Thursday afternoon in a one-legged qualifier with Lincoln Red Imps.
Steven Gerrard's side went on a superb run to the last-16 of the competition last season where they eventually crashed out to a Kai Havertz inspired Bayer Leverkusen outfit.
Indeed, inconsistency has dented Rangers' bid for domestic honours in recent seasons, however, the Teddy Bears have been a tough nut to crack on the continent under the stewardship of the Liverpool legend.
Having said that, Rangers have been well-nigh flawless in their opening seven Scottish top-flight fixtures this season – only Livingston have managed to halt the Gers juggernaut thus far.
Standing in Rangers' way of a place in the third qualifying round of the Europa league is semi-professional opposition in the shape of Lincoln Red Imps.
The Red Imps famously defeated Rangers' fierce rivals Celtic four years ago and another shock home win on Thursday afternoon would see Rangers crash out of the competition given that this is a single-legged affair.
William Amaral de Andrade's minnows are a massive 28/1 with BetVictor, while the draw is also deemed unlikely at 15/2 with the same bookmaker.
Rangers have avoided defeat in each of their last 16 Europa League qualifiers and an away success is heavily fancied here at 1/12 with PaddyPower.
Rangers early-season success can be attributed to their well schooled defence – the Ibrox side have notched up an eye-watering seven consecutive Scottish Premiership clean sheets.
With that in mind, backing Rangers to win to nil will tempt plenty of punters at 8/13 with Bet 365, however, I'm going to nudge the price up to Even-Money via a Bet Builder by combining an away win to nil alongside Rangers half time/full time.
Taking this approach approach would have banked profit in five of Rangers opening seven Scottish Premiership assignments and I'm happy to side with a repeat on Thursday when the Glasgow giants come up against a part-time Red Imps side.
Gerrard's Gers have swatted aside all but one of their opponents this season and I suspect the Red Imps rearguard will find red-hot Rangers superior attacking talent too hot to handle.
Gerrard will be keen to see his side put this tie to bed at the earliest opportunity ahead of a huge showdown with Hibernian at Easter Road on Sunday, not to mention the Light Blues boss can ill-afford any more additions to his ever-growing absentee list.
With that in mind, I fully expect the Teddy Bears to flex their muscles in this tussle by chalking up a comfortable away win in Gibraltar.
That line of thought also has me attracted to the 10/11 on offer with Betway for Rangers to score two more goals in the second half at the Victoria Stadium on Thursday afternoon.
The semi-professional hosts could tire in the latter stages of this encounter and that coupled with visitors' superior quality and fitness could see Rangers capitalise in the second half of this contest.
This UEFA Europa League match between Lincoln Red Imps and Rangers will be played on Sep 17, 2020 and kick off at 16:00. Check below for our tipsters best Lincoln Red Imps vs Rangers prediction.