Michael Owen believes Rangers will seal qualification to the Europa League knock-out stages by beating Standard Liege at Ibrox on Thursday night.
Steven Gerrard’s men have not lost in Europe this season but have drawn each of their last two matches against Benfica.
Despite this, the Light Blues go into their showdown with Belgian side Standard Liege knowing that they can seal qualification and potentially top-spot in Group D if they win all three points.
According to Sky Sports, Rangers will seal qualification with a win “or if they draw and Lech do not beat Benfica. Rangers will be confirmed as group winners if they win and Benfica lose”.
Rangers beat Liege 2-0 away in Belgium and Owen has predicted them to secure all three points again but has this time tipped to Gers to win 1-0.
“A point will be enough for Rangers to ensure their place in the next round of the Europa League,” wrote Owen on the BetVictor website. “Steven Gerrard’s men were unlucky not to take six points from their back-to-back games against Benfica. They had to settle for two after conceding late goals in both matches.
“However, they have a chance to redeem themselves against a Standard Liege side that sit bottom of the group.
“The Belgians got their first three points of the campaign at home to Poznan last week and need a repeat result to at least stay in the competition until the final matchday.
“The Gers go into this undefeated in their last seven Europa League matches, and if they continue to play as they have been on home soil, I think the points will be staying at Ibrox.”
We can’t see anything other than a Rangers win this week.
While we don’t want to get too overconfident and potentially shoot ourselves in the foot, the Gers are on a seriously impressive run of form and you just don’t see Standard Liege stopping it.
Benfica couldn’t halt Rangers’ run and a team who the Gers won 2-0 away against are unlikely too either.
Gerrard’s players will be well-rested after he made so many changes for the win over Falkirk in the Scottish League Cup on Sunday while Liege had a huge game against Anderlecht in Belgium’s top-flight.
Obbi Oulare is also suspended for Liege after getting sent off against Lech Poznan last week. He’s played regularly for them this season, scoring two goals in nine appearances so there’s a chance the Belgian’s will miss him.
In other Rangers news, Alex McLeish claims stories have been fabricated about Dave King.