Rangers and Hibs both enjoy home advantage in the Europa League on Thursday and Betfair's football writer Frankie Monkhouse expects mixed fortunes...
"Molde FK - managed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - beat Laci 5-0 on aggregate in the last round, including a 2-0 away win and they won't need encouragement to take advantage of Hibs' generous defence"
Lennon faces a tough task at Easter Road
Hibs have performed above expectations to reach the third qualifying round of the Europa League, but they face an uphill struggle if they are to go any further. The capital city side were involved in a thrill-a-minute 4-3 aggregate win over Asteras Tripolis in the last round, achieved on the back of a 3-2 home win.
The Hibees added confidence when hammering Motherwell 3-0 at home on Sunday afternoon to get their Scottish Premiership campaign off to a flying start and fans will be hoping Neil Lennon's team continue their scoring ways. Both teams to find the net on Thursday looks worth a place in your midweek accumulators with 4/6 available on the Sportsbook but the real value looks to be in picking the winner.
Norwegian Eliteserien runners up Molde FK - managed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - beat Laci 5-0 on aggregate in the last round, including a 2-0 away win and they won't need encouragement to take advantage of Hibs' generous defence. They also bagged two in a draw away to Lillestrom at the weekend and make perfect sense at 7/4 on the Sportsbook.
Gers have a score to settle with Maribor
Steven Gerrard's Rangers enjoy home advantage as they line-up for the first-leg of a double-header against Slovenian PrvaLiga runners up Maribor and the sides are certainly no strangers going into this one. This will be the fifth competitive meeting between the rivals, with the head-to-head record poised at Rangers 2-1 Maribor with one draw. The Bears were knocked out of this very competition by Maribor on their last meeting back in 2011.
What followed was a dark time for Rangers and their fans, but they finally appear to be heading in the right direction with Gerrard's appointment getting the blues support excited. They had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Pittodrie at Sunday but took the lead through a James Tavernier penalty on 30 minutes.
They played the majority of the contest with 10 men, Alfredo Morelos sent off for aiming a kick at Scott McKenna inside 12 minutes. It looked like they might hold on for all three points, but a stoppage-time equaliser from teenager Bruce Anderson ensured a share of the spoils.
Influential midfielder Ryan Jack will be forced to miss the first leg after suffering concussion following a reckless challenge dealt out by Aberdeen's Stevie May. That'll force Gerrard to shuffle his pack, but he has plenty of reinforcements in the middle of the park and a Rangers win is [1.99] favourite on the Betfair Exchange.
There's no doubting Maribor represent a step up in class of opponent for Rangers, but they have shown themselves to be a well-organised bunch in defence and backers looking for an interest at bigger odds can get Rangers to win to nil at 15/8 on the Sportsbook.
Rangers win @ [1.99] (Exchange)
Molde win @ 7/4 (Sportsbook)