Scottish giants Rangers started life after Steven Gerrard with a loss at home to Hibernian in the League Cup. They have another home game, this time in the Europa League, against Czech side Sparta Prague and will be hoping for a better outcome. Going into this game, Rangers are third on four points in Group A, same to Sparta Prague, who hold a better head to head advantage. Rangers lost 1-0 at Sparta Prague and will be eyeing a win here too see them rise to second place. David McCallum was in charge of the team at the weekend but former Rangers man Gio van Bronckhorst will be stepping in for the long term and this will be his first game. As the Dutchman makes plans on introducing his own style, for now he may have to work with what’s already in place. His team goes to the game with one loss in the last nine matches but in the four Europa League matches they have just one win. It is their only win in the last five Europa League matches and a blunt attack in the competition will be the new man’s first concern. Rangers have failed to score in three of their last five matches in Europa League, but they go to this game with three goals in the last two matches. They have a win and a draw in those two matches while none of their last eight Europa League games has produced over 2.5 goals. They have a better run at home though, with six wins and two losses in the last nine Europa League matches. Each of their last four has however produced under 2.5 goals.
Sparta Prague are also coming from a loss, having been thrashed 4-0 away from home by Slavcko in their domestic league. That was their second loss in three matches and also the second time in three matches that they failed to score. In each of their last four matches, Sparta Prague have conceded two or more goals. It is worse for them away from home, going to this game with no away win in the last three. In fact, the last two away games were straight losses and they failed to score in them. They’ve conceded nine goals in the last three away matches, and it is in defence that they really have to improve. In their last two Europa League matches, they lost back to back against Lyon, conceding a total of seven goals. They’ve failed to score in three of five Europa League matches and have just one win in six in the competition. Away from home, Sparta Prague have eight losses in 10 Europa League matches; they’ve won just one in that run.
Sparta Prague’s only win in this group was against Rangers and they don’t seem to be in the shape for a repeat. They have eight losses in 10 away matches in Europa League. In their last five Europa League matches, they have failed to score in three and they meet a Rangers side doing much better at home in the competition. Rangers however haven’t been scoring a lot of goals and while we are backing them to win here, over 2.5 goals may also be a good pick.