The slog to reach the Europa League group stages continues on Thursday with the second legs of the second qualifying round taking place. Steven Gerrard’s Rangers are one side hoping to embark on a long European adventure this season and they should have enough to see off Osijek having won the first leg 1-0.
Rangers to win to nil @ 19/10
There are certainly signs of improvement at Ibrox with Gerrard at the helm, the former Liverpool midfielder having picked over the bones of what was left to him and deciding a complete overhaul was needed.
No less than 10 new faces have arrived in Glasgow this summer but it was a familiar name in Alfredo Morelos who got the all-important away goal in Croatia last week. The Gers had to withstand plenty of pressure at the Stadion Gradski vrt but once again kept a clean sheet.
In fact, the Light Blues are yet to concede a goal since Gerrard took charge, despite the manager’s insistence that they need defensive reinforcements, and can keep up that record on Thursday.
Rangers have won their last four competitive games at Ibrox, while Osijek’s away record is patchy at best, winning one of the last 12 on their travels.
Burnley v Aberdeen – BTTS @ 6/5
The Clarets had to battle hard to get out of Pittodrie with a draw last week but were good value for the away goal and a share of the spoils in the end. The Dons had them on the ropes in the first half but the longer the match wore on, the more the quality of Sean Dyche’s men shone through.
I would expect Burnley to have too much at home for Aberdeen, despite their poor record at Turf Moor, winning two of the last 10. However, the Scots could give them another scare by getting themselves on the scoresheet.
Both teams to score has landed in nine of Burnley’s last 12 competitive matches, while the absence of both first-choice goalkeepers Tom Heaton and Nick Pope could unsettle their backline.
Asteras Tripolis v Hibernian – Over 3/5 goals @ 41/20
Wherever Hibs go in Europe, goals are sure to follow after a barnstorming 3-2 win against Asteras in the first leg at Easter Road. That followed on from them scoring six in both legs of their first round qualifier.
Over 3.5 goals has landed in five of the Edinburgh outfit’s last nine games in Europe, while who can forget the 5-5 draw they had with Rangers on the final day of last season’s Scottish Premiership.
With 5/7 favourites Asteras needing to go for it and being regular scorers themselves, this could be the game to watch on Thursday.
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