Scottish champions Rangers begin their UEFA Europa League campaign with a home match against Ligue 1 outfit Lyon on Thursday night. Under the guidance of manager Steven Gerrard, the Glaswegian side recently won their first league title in ten years, spectacularly going the entire season unbeaten. It has been a long time since Lyon won the French crown, way back in 2008, but they only finished seven points off top spot when securing fourth place in the most recent Ligue 1 campaign. That championship-winning season was the last time that these two sides met competitively, each side winning the away game in the group stage of the old UEFA Cup. Rangers may interpret this reunion as a good omen as they made the final of that season's competition. Rangers made it the last 16 of the UEL in 2020/21 following an impressive group stage performance that led to them topping a table featuring Benfica, Standard Liege and Lech Poznan. They are unbeaten in 23 of their previous 27 home European games. However, there's no guarantee of a positive result if we take their recent record against French opposition (no wins in eight home games) seriously.
Lyon, adjusting to life following the sale of star player Memphis Depay, have started the season slowly, winning only two of their opening five matches. Significantly, those two wins were in their last two games. Rangers, meanwhile, are top of the Scottish top-flight table after winning four of their opening league five matches. Lyon still have Moussa Dembele, a forward who Rangers know well from his time at Celtic. He has never lost against Rangers, winning seven and drawing two of his clashes against the Old Firm club. This familiarity added to Lyon's positive away record in the UEL group stage (one loss in their last nine games) leads us to suggest backing the visitors draw no bet.