Europa League: Old Firm duo to score important wins on the road

Rangers are in Denmark while Celtic go to Hungary. Betfair's Scottish football writer Frankie Monkhouse makes his case for an away win double...

Time to shine

We are into the second half of the Europa League group stages, and Scotland's representatives still have all to play for. Both Rangers and Celtic are on the road this midweek, aiming to collect a crucial win and three points that would keep them in the hunt for knockout football. Involvement in Europe post-Christmas is the dream, and, at this stage, it remains a reality.

Steven Gerrard takes his stars to Brondby having beaten the same opponent two weeks ago at Ibrox. The Gers support are still smiling following the 6-1 demolition of Motherwell on Sunday but face a more confident Brondby than the one that was in Govan.

Celtic are off to Budapest, where they'll play Group G bottom club Ferencvarosi, who start game four without a point on the board. A second win for the Bhoys would throw them into the mix, ramping up the pressure on Bayer Leverkusen and Real Betis. Results on Thursday could define how far Celtic, and Rangers go in Europe this season.

Brondby v Rangers
Thursday, 17:45
Live on BT Sport

Brondby were expected by most to struggle in Group A alongside Rangers, Lyon and Sparta Prague, and the Danes have done exactly that. They are bottom of the pool with just one point gained from the first nine available to them.

That came from an opening day draw with Prague before losing against Lyon and Rangers. Failure to gain revenge over the Scots and bag a home win would end Brondby's chances of going through. This is an all-or-nothing scenario.

They've had more luck in the Danish Superliga than the Europa League, with an impressive run helping push them up the ladder. FC Midtjylland - who Rangers beat in this competition under Gerrard - are top of Superliga with Brondby down in sixth.

They have won three and drawn one of their last four in Denmark as Niels Frederiksen's men finally start firing. Brondby to win this match is available at 4.0 on the Betfair Exchange.

Gers thump Well

Rangers head to Denmark buzzing from a stunning win over Motherwell at Fir Park on Sunday. It was a match they had to win after Celtic dropped two points the day before and they got the job done, crushing the Steelmen 6-1, Fashion Sakala scoring a hattrick.

It's not all been plain sailing for Rangers fans though. Gers look shaky in defence and conceded the first goal at the weekend again. Following a 2-2 draw with Aberdeen last week, Gerrard told the press his men are suffering from an identity crisis.

At Ibrox, Rangers struggled to beat the 10 men of Hibs, managed only a draw against Hearts after passing up several great goalscoring opportunities, then battled back from two goals down to rescue a point against the Dons.

Fans want to see the team back performing at the levels of last season. They caught a glimpse of that last time out. Rangers are 1.95 to win on Thursday, and after a comfortable win over Brondby in Glasgow, they're taken to do the double.

Ferencvarosi v Celtic
Thursday, 20:00
Live on BT Sport

Hungarian champions Ferencvarosi enjoy home advantage over Scottish Premiership runners up Celtic, and it's another match the locals know they must win after losing in Glasgow last time. Green Eagles went to Parkhead in high spirits a fortnight ago, hoping to win and set their Europa League campaign back on track but suffered a damaging defeat.

Ferencvarosi won the league title last season, finishing 20 points clear of Puskas but haven't had things all their own way in the opening exchanges of this campaign. As well as the defeat at Celtic Park, Ferencvarosi has lost 2-1 at home to Zalaegerszeg and fought out an uninspiring goalless finish with MTK.

Scoring just one goal in those three games paints the picture of how their season is going, and backers will get Ferencvarosi at 3.4 to beat Celtic.

Bhoys in a race against the clock

Celtic are finally finding the form new manager Ange Postecoglou had been hoping for, and are right back in the mix to challenge Rangers for the Scottish championship. The Hoops put together a string of impressive performances in the Premiership and Europa League.

They start this match in third place behind Bayer and Betis but have scored at least as many goals as the leaders of five other groups. The problem is the defence which has conceded more goals than any other team in the Europa League, which is a huge concern. Ange's men followed back to back defeats with a crucial 2-0 over Ferencvarosi last time.

Followers of the stats may be interested to know Celtic scored exactly two goals in four games on the bounce, winning 2-0 three games in a row. The visitors are 2.26 to win on Thursday, with the draw priced at 3.65. Bettors, after bigger odds, can take Celtic 2-0 @ 12.0.

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