Rangers vs AntwerpUEFA Europa League, KO: 17:55 Feb 25, 2021, Ibrox
RANGERS are in the driving seat heading into their Europa League last-32 second-leg showdown with Antwerp at Ibrox on Thursday night.
The Teddy Bears triumphed in a rollercoaster 4-3 victory in Belgium last midweek, a result that means Steven Gerrard's side are now on course to seal their passage to the last-16 of the competition for the second successive season.
Rangers have since kept the feelgood factor flowing after taking another huge stride towards claiming what would be a first Scottish Premiership crown in a decade.
The Ibrox side swatted aside Dundee United 4-1 on Sunday and that win coupled with Celtic's latest disaster in Dingwall means that Rangers now only need seven more points to secure a record-breaking 55th league title.
Antwerp, meanwhile, head into this clash off the back of a disappointing 0-0 draw at home to lowly STVV on Saturday.
That means Franky Vercauteren's side are now 15 points behind Club Brugge in the Belgian Pro League, having played one game extra than the runaway league leaders.
A Rangers win here would see Steven Gerrard overtake Walter Smith's record of 23 continental victories and the hosts are red-hot favourites at 4/9 with Bet 365.
Antwerp have lost each of their last two Europa League matches and the visitors are the unfancied underdogs here at 11/2 with PaddyPower and the draw pays 19/5 with TonyBet
Rangers have defended resolutely this season but it may pay to go against the grain this time around and side with goals in Govan on Thursday night.
Antwerp demonstrated their attacking qualities last midweek and the Belgians will have to go for broke if they are to salvage this tie and progress to the last-16.
Both teams have obliged in four of Rangers' last five Europa League outings and it's also worth noting that both sides have notched in two of the Gers last three Scottish Premiership assignments.
What's more, four of Antwerp's last six matches in all competitions have ended with both sides getting on the scoreboard, so I'm therefore more than happy to side with the same formula at Ibrox.
Given what's at stake here coupled with the fact that last week's first-leg was quite fiery I'll also back the Belgians to pick up at least one booking – Antwerp have collected two or more cards in 6/7 Europa League outings this term.
I'll also dip into the anytime goalscorer market and take the 13/2 on offer with SportingIndex for Rangers defender Borna Barisic to get on the scoresheet.
Barisic converted two penalties in Belgium last week and despite then missing a spot kick against Dundee United at Ibrox on Sunday, I reckon the Croatian full-back looks like a nice value play to notch here at a chunky 13/2 with SportingIndex.
This UEFA Europa League match between Rangers and Antwerp will be played on Feb 25, 2021 and kick off at 17:55. Check below for our tipsters best Rangers vs Antwerp prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.