Standard Liege vs RangersUEFA Europa League, KO: 17:55 Oct 22, 2020, Stade Maurice Dufrasne
RANGERS will be hoping the feelgood factor from their Old Firm win can carry them to victory against Standard Liege as they get their Europa League campaign up and running in Belgium.
For the second game running, they are up against a side decimated by Covid-19, with Michel-Ange Balikwisha, Nicolas Raskin, Moussa Sissako, Damjan Pavlovic and Abdoul Fessal Tapsoba set to miss out after an outbreak.
But of those players, only Raskin and Balikwisha started the 1-1 draw with Brugge at the weekend so it's not as if the Belgians will be missing a raft of key men.
Steven Gerrard's men remain unbeaten at home and abroad this term, winning 12 of their 14 games, and won't be scared of Standard having defeated Turkish giants Galatasaray to book their place in the group stage (below).
It's the third season in a row Gers have qualified for the Europa League groups and last term they reached the last 16 before German giants Leverkusen knocked them out, helping to bring up my bets across both legs.
Rangers will be targeting the knockout stages again after being drawn in a relatively kind group, with Benfica and Polish side Lech Poznan making up the rest of the section.
But the Beligans have claimed some impressive scalps of their own in Europe in recent seasons, beating Sevilla, Eintracht Frankfurt and Krasnodar while holding Ajax and Arsenal to draws.
They have lost just once in 12 games this term, a 1-0 defeat away to Leuven, so Rangers will need to be on top of their game to get another big result.
How the bookies view it
Even though Rangers are in excellent form, I'm surprised to see them favourites for this one at a best 7/5 with Betfred. Standard are as big as 2/1 with McBookie while the draw pays 13/5 with the same firm. I can see this ending level but backing Standard in the double chance market, which pays on a win and a draw, might be safer at a decent 8/11 with McBookie.
Players to watch
I tipped Ryan Kent to score at Parkhead on Saturday but Connor Goldson was the unlikely hero with the defender scoring both goals. Alfredo Morelos drew another derby blank but seems to come alive in the Europa League, where he has scored for fun.
The Colombian is 17/10 with BetVictor for a goal in Belgium and that looks decent value if Morelos (below) gets enough service.
Defender Nicolas Gavory scored Standard's equaliser from the spot against Brugge at the weekend after Maxime Lestienne had earlier missed a penalty. Gavory has two goals from his last three games and should remain on spot-kick duties so he looks massively overpriced at 13/1 with 888Sport for anytime scorer.
Anything else catch the eye?
Rangers have based their success on a solid defence so far this season so I'd be surprised if there were a lot of goals. Under 2.5 goals pays evens at Betfair and that's worth considering while I fancy the score to be level at half-time, which pays 6/5 at Bet365.
Standard have won seven penalties this season while Rangers have been awarded four so there's a high chance of another in this game and it pays 2/1 at William Hill.
This UEFA Europa League match between Standard Liege and Rangers will be played on Oct 22, 2020 and kick off at 17:55. Check below for our tipsters best Standard Liege vs Rangers prediction.