‘Stupid game, I hope I’m wrong’: Scottish sportswriters’ predictions ahead of Rangers’ Europa League final against Eintracht Frankfurt

David Oliver: The omens are all there. Host city Spain, semi-finalist Germany, 50th and 150th anniversaries. The stars are suggesting Rangers are following the right script at Seville and even with their form and raw stats, it’s hard to look past the Scottish side. Four games and four wins, they have a dynamic that Frankfurt doesn’t have. Oliver Glasner’s team has to look back more than two Months to achieve this balance. Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s tactical adjustments can affect the fine margins at this level and with Rangers conceding in 10 of their last 12 goals, Frankfurt have every chance of scoring but need to counter the nous of the manager who already has his Bundesliga colleagues Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig has destroyed. In addition, there is the top scorer in the Europa League. Without a natural forward, Rangers still aren’t struggling for goals, but Ryan Kent is. The winger is a crucial component in Rangers’ game and now it’s time to end his losing streak and join James Tavernier in Spain. I expect Rangers to win 3-1.

Aidan Smith: Rangers have a European anthem, “Make Us Dream” by Saint Phnx. It didn’t show up in the Eurovision Song Contest — there weren’t any Ibrox bears to mix it with Norway’s banana-eating wolfmen — but just shot to No. 2 on the iTunes chart. Can the team reach No. 1, win the Europa League and be added to next Tuesday’s Cup Winners’ Cup, which was lifted 50 years ago? Yes, you can. But they’ll need Allan McGregor to produce two, maybe three more age-defying saves for the career picture book. John Lundstram and Calvin Bassey, who guided RB Leipzig out of the park, each have to find the turbocharger button. Someone might have to be a revelation like Joe Aribo when pushed forward. With no strikers, goals may have to come from unlikely places. “We follow you, so let’s dream,” the song says. It’s almost a requirement. 2-1 for the Rangers.

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Matthew Elder: The Frankfurters are very good on their day – Barcelona and West Ham will attest to that – but the current table-11. The Bundesliga will not be afraid of a Rangers side who already have superior German competition on their way to the Bundesliga finals in Dortmund and Leipzig. Much will depend on who adapts best to the wet conditions, but Rangers have proved a very resilient side under Giovanni van Bronckhorst, able to start games at high pace and take them through the 90 minutes and beyond carry out what it takes to get your hands on the trophy. Van Bronckhort has shown the tactical skill required to win the big games in Europe. My prognosis: James Tavernier on the scorers list, Allan McGregor on his heroics, goals at both ends and Rangers after extra time.

Rangers fans have asked their players to ‘make them dream’ – will they deliver in Seville?

Joel Sked: I do not agree with bookmakers’ opinion about playing Eintracht Frankfurt to win the cup. That should not be taken as an insult on the German side – the Rangers must treat them with the utmost respect. They own a number of great performers. However, the Ibrox side have already defeated a much more respected and simply better Bundesliga opponent. Yes, they won’t have the Ibrox factor, but this is a team that has grown and developed on the European stage. They have been a strong team in the Europa League since Steven Gerrard took over. There’s a lot to like about this Rangers side who just seem to muster something special on Europa League nights. Maybe they just like to play on Thursday…even though the final is on Wednesday. I’m guessing Rangers will beat it in a fool of an encounter.

Alan Pattullo: I’ve always been interested in Eintracht Frankfurt because they were the first continental team I saw live. And no, the occasion wasn’t the famous 1960 European Cup final at Hampden Park… it was April 1985. The German team visited Den’s Park for a rather less celebrated 2-2 draw against Dundee in a friendly. They were also beaten 3-1 by Hearts on the same tour which may or may not have marked the 25th anniversary of the aforementioned clash against Real Madrid. They lost what is still considered one of the greatest games of all time, 7-3. Eintracht Frankfurt must be seen as a stunner. They’re a name to conjure up and clearly have a pedigree. Their march to this latest final, which included a sweeping win at the Nou Camp, was impressive. But Rangers also cleared the hurdles to Seville. The Ibrox side have done it in style despite injury setbacks. Having news striker Kemar Roofe available is a huge boost. I expect Rangers to make history against a side I like and be the first Scottish club to win this competition. Rangers wins 2-1 in overtime.

Mark Atkinson: It’s quite remarkable to be at this stage of a European competition and to have a team in the final. As BT Sport commentator Rory Hamilton said, when Rangers beat Borussia Dortmund something like this shouldn’t happen to clubs on these shores. Being part of the Rangers run has been incredible and they will never have a better chance of winning a European trophy. The fact that this isn’t the case with Ibrox is a problem – their trump card in the tournament – and it makes me wonder if Eintracht Frankfurt, combined with the absence of Alfredo Morelos and Kemar Roofe’s lack of playing time, could perhaps top that , maybe in an extra time. I hope I’m wrong. Regardless of your prediction or your club affiliation, sit back and watch what will be a momentous night.

https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/rangers/doozy-of-match-i-hope-im-wrong-the-scotsman-sports-writers-predictions-ahead-of-rangers-v-eintracht-frankfurt-europa-league-final-3698038 ‘Stupid game, I hope I’m wrong’: Scottish sportswriters’ predictions ahead of Rangers’ Europa League final against Eintracht Frankfurt

Matthew Hallett

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