Rangers v Braga: back under-fire Gers to give fans the win they deserve at Ibrox

Rangers will be roared on by a capacity crowd at Ibrox as they try to overturn a one-goal deficit. Betfair's Frankie Monkhouse previews...

The scene is set

Rangers manager, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, has asked the support to pack out Ibrox on Thursday evening and help roar the Scottish champions into the semi-finals of the Europa League. Braga provides the opposition, with the Portuguese club holding a 1-0 aggregate lead, but there's still all to play for in Govan. The locals know they must beat the visitors by at least two clear goals to progress but know they have the quality to do it.

The Gers disappointed fans in the first leg when failing to register a single shot on target. Still, Braga know they missed a chance to take advantage, fluffing several great opportunities to enhance their lead. As it stands, Braga hold a 1-0 aggregate lead, but will they come to Glasgow aiming to build on that, or set up to defend and hope to catch their hosts on the counter? We can't wait to find out.

Gers get back on track in Paisley

Rangers put a difficult week behind them with a convincing win over St Mirren in Paisley on Sunday. The champions cut the gap at the top of the Premiership to six points following Celtic's 2-1 win at Ibrox and the league leader's impressive 7-0 home victory over St Johnstone on Saturday. After losing the Old Firm Derby and the first leg of this Europa League quarter-final, a comfortable win and eye-catching performance was needed.

Rangers fans were treated to a 4-0 victory over the Saints on Sunday, with Kemar Roofe hitting a deadly hattrick before Joe Aribo turned on the edge of the box and unleashed a stunning curling strike. It was exactly the kind of performance Rangers needed ahead of this match against Braga, but it came at the expense of Filip Helander and John Lundstram. Both were helped from the field of play following knocks and could be doubts for Thursday.

Braga in the driving seat

Braga knew they needed to make home advantage count in the first leg but to achieve that, they had to record their first-ever win over Rangers. The Portuguese side had played two and lost two against Gers before halving the deficit with that battling win at the Estadio Municipal de Braga last week. The winning goal that night was scored by Abel Ruiz just before half-time. Braga had chances to make it 2-0 in the second 45 but lacked composure in the final third, while Alan McGregor was again in inspired form.

Braga arrive in Glasgow knowing they sit in the driving seat but won't make the mistake of thinking the hard work is done. They won't come to Glasgow and cling on to the one-goal advantage they already have. They know their hosts have to find the net to stay in the tie and understand that, as the game goes on, Rangers will become more desperate, leading to chances for the visitors to put this tie to bed. There's still plenty of life in this quarter-final.

Back the Bears to qualify

Rangers were poor against Celtic when losing 2-1 despite Arron Ramsey scoring inside the opening few minutes. They were even less convincing in Braga when looking suspect at the back and lacking imagination going forward. All that must change but better is expected of the light blues.

With the pressure on van Bronckhorst and his players - especially in the absence of star striker Alfredo Morelos - Roofe's hattrick on Sunday would have been a welcome relief. The striker looks sharp again and will make the difference. Rangers can be backed at 2.04 on the Betfair Exchange to win this match. Braga are 4.2 with a draw trading at 3.55.

These sides served up a stunning five-goal thriller when last meeting at Ibrox when Rangers won 3-2, fighting back from 2-0 down. Another free-scoring contest is expected on Thursday, with both teams to score available at 1.96. Over 2.5 goals can be added to your multiples at 2.14.

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