Villarreal vs Rangers: Predictions, Odds and Betting Tips
Steven Gerrard’s reign at Rangers faces its sternest test on Thursday against La Liga’s Villarreal at the Estadio de la Ceramica in a Europa League fixture.
It has been a mixed start to life for former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard at Rangers – just one defeat in the league (to Celtic) may sound impressive, but only two wins from five does leave the Gers outside the top three.
The trip to Spain gives Gerrard a chance to pit his side against one of the stronger teams in this season’s Europa League.
It is still early days and Rangers have shown plenty of steel in overcoming Maribor, Osijek, Shkupi, and Ufa just to reach the group stage.
However, Villarreal are quite a step up despite a shaky start to La Liga and the 2015-16 Europa League Semi-finalists will look to this game as the perfect way to get a winning start.
Rangers will be dogged but unfortunately lack the quality to go to Spain and win, giving Villarreal a steady evening’s work with a 3-1 win.
Rangers come into the game after putting four past Dundee in the league. Also, Villarreal have not been on-song at home this season having lost their last two home league games.
However, at home, they will have enough with the pressure off and as Rangers boast the prowess of the likes of Alfredo Morelos, the expectation is the net will bulge at both ends.
Villarreal have been slow starters this season and boast just one first half goal in their last four league matches.
Gerrard’s men will likely play for the draw meaning a stalemate after 45 minutes is the best way to go in this game.
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Head to Head
Twice before the pair has met and twice before the result has been a draw.
That was during the 2005-2006 Champions League round of 16 tie.
Villarreal headed to Glasgow and snatched two vital away goals at Ibrox before Rangers could only manage a 1-1 draw back in Spain to send the Yellow Submarine through on the away goals rule 3-3 on aggregate.
- Villarreal currently sit 13th in La Liga having claimed one win, one draw and two defeats from their opening four games.
- Rangers occupy fourth in the Scottish Premiership this season thanks to two wins, two draws and a defeat from their opening five games.
- Rangers have already played eight games in this seasons Europa League up until the group stages.
- Villarreal beat Rangers on the away goals rule when the pair met in the last 16 round of the 2005-06 Champions League.
- Villarreal has reached the semi-final of the Europa League three times this century: 2003-04, 2010-11, and 2015-16.