RANGERS have been one of the surprise packages in the Champions League this season.

After a disastrous campaign a year ago, Walter Smith has got his tactics right and after three games five points have been collected including draws against big guns Man United and Valencia.

Now Smith faces possibly his toughest task of the season when he takes his team to the Mestalla for tonight's return with Valencia.

Rangers have never beaten a Spanish team away in 10 encounters and I can't see that sequence being broken tonight but there is every chance of the Scots battling to a draw.

A couple of months ago Valencia would have been home bankers but not now. They are struggling for form and after losing to Mallorca there season hit rock bottom with a home draw against La Liga bottom dogs Real Zaragoza at the weekend.

Bookies still fear the La Liga giants so best price on an away win is a massive 9-1 with McBookie.com, Coral and Chandler. It's probably too much to expect of Smith's men but don't rule them out escaping with a point as long as they don't conceded an early goal. That pays 7-2 with bet365 and Paddy Power.

Backing Rangers at plus two goals is seriously tempting at 8-11 with Stan James while plus one is 15-8 with Coral. Rangers are 4-6 with William Hill not to score and 6-4 to net exactly one.

Smith will go with his tried and trusted policy of one up front but Kenny Miller is likely to receive plenty of support after the way the Valencia defence was breached so often in Glasgow.

Miller is 10-1 at Paddy Power to score first with Steven Naismith 14-1 at William Hill. Miller is yet to score in this campaign and is 5-6 with William Hill to net at any time in Group C and 5-6 to draw a blank. Naisy bagged Rangers' only goal so far against Bursaspor and is 11-2 with Hills to hit the target tonight.

For Valencia the first-scorer favourite is Aritz Aduriz at 4-1 with William Hill who go 5-1 Roberto Soldado while Juan Mata is 6-1 at Ladbrokes.

Rangers remain big at 11-4 with Hills to qualify (1-4 not to) and are 12-1 to remain unbeaten in Group C. Valencia are 4-11 favourites with William Hill to be the first side to beat Rangers this season. You can also have 16-1 St Mirren, 20-1 Hibs, 25-1 Aberdeen, 33-1 Killie, 9-2 Man Utd and 40-1 Dundee Utd. It's 15-2 the Scots lose none of the listed matches.

The other game in Group C sees leaders Man United travel to take on Bursaspor. It was only 1-0 when the sides met at Old Trafford and United also won 1-0 in Valencia.

A third 1-0 on the bounce is a possibility and pays 6-1 with Hills and Chandler. United should win even if some stars are rested and are a biggest 3-4 with 888sport.


  • Rangers plus two (8-11, Stan James)

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