Spartak Moscow v Rangers Betting Tips & Predictions – Thursday 8th November 2018

Steven Gerrard takes his Rangers troops to the Otkritie Arena on Thursday to face Spartak Moscow in a huge game in the UEFA Europa League. The Gers have made a solid start to their European campaign, currently sitting joint top of Group G with La Liga side Villarreal on five points apiece. However, Thursday’s trip to Moscow will be a stern test for the Scottish Premiership team and at this stage they would surely be happy to leave with a point.

Having said that, it’s fair to say the Russians are in disarray at the moment. They have won only one of their last eight Russian Premier League matches. Caretaker boss Raul Riancho has plenty of work to do after his side fell to yet another home defeat last weekend. Can Spartak get back on track with a win over Rangers in the Europa League on Thursday?

Top Tips

Rangers to Win 1-0 @ 9/1

Alfredo Morelos to Score First @ 7/1

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Spartak Moscow News: Moscow in Mayhem Ahead of Thursday’s Clash

Spartak Moscow's Spartak Stadium Prior to Football Match
Oleg Bkhambri (Voltmetro), Wikimedia Commons

Spartak Moscow – who hold the record for the most Soviet/Russian league titles with 22 to their name – are a club in turmoil at present. After just 13 games in the Russian Premier League, the Red-Whites are already a whopping 12 points behind runaway leaders Zenit St Petersburg. For a club of their stature that simply won’t do and the fans are clearly unhappy.

Spartak have been in dreadful form in the league of late, losing four of their last seven, with all four of those coming on their own patch. Just days before their match in Glasgow last month, Massimo Carrera was sacked as Spartak manager. Can Riancho, who is a fitness coach by trade, guide his side to a crucial three points in this one and start to lift the mood of doom and gloom around the club?

Spartak Bottom of Group G

Spartak are currently bottom of Group G having drawn two and lost one of their three Europa League matches so far. However, with things very tight in the group, Moscow will go level on points with Rangers if they can seal a rare home win on Thursday.

The Russian side kicked off their Europa League campaign with a 2-0 defeat in Austria to Rapid Vienna before drawing 3-3 with Villarreal in their second game, with former Arsenal man Santi Cazorla scoring a 96th minute equaliser for the Spanish side. Last time out in Europe, Spartak claimed a decent 0-0 draw in Glasgow, a result all the better as they chose to rest many of their best players for the following league clash.

Rangers News: Gerrard Settling in Nicely

Ibrox Stadium During a Rangers European Match
Tony, flickr

Former Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard is slowly but surely finding his feet in Scotland, with Rangers winning four of their last seven league and cup matches. After a disappointing 1-1 home draw with Kilmarnock last Wednesday, the Gers picked up an impressive 2-0 away victory at St Mirren at the weekend, with late goals by Daniel Candelas and Alfredo Morelos sealing the deal.

The Light Blues are a very creditable third in the Scottish Premiership table at the moment, five points behind surprise leaders Hearts and four points adrift of rivals Celtic, who sit second. After travelling to Russia on Thursday, four of Rangers’ next five league and cup encounters take place at Ibrox and so they will hope they can improve their position in the build-up to Christmas.

Good Start in Europe

Rangers’ Europa League journey began all the way back in July, when Gerrard won his first game in charge against Shkupi. Overall, the Gers have played 11 European matches so far this term, winning five and drawing six.

The Scottish club got Group G underway with a hard-fought draw with Villarreal, with Scott Arfield and Kyle Lafferty scoring in the eventual 2-2 stalemate in Spain. That was a great result against a quality side and no doubt gave Gerrard and his men a lot of confidence.

Rangers were then excellent in a 3-1 home win over Rapid Vienna, scoring two late goals to seal a priceless three points in Glasgow. A win would have been nice, but a 0-0 home draw with Spartak was not the worst result in the world for the Scots in their previous Europa League outing. As said, the visitors did rest players though, so missing out on the win will have irked the manager.

Some Injury Casualties for Gerrard to Deal With

Rangers will not be at full strength in Russia, with a few key men still recovering from injuries. Graham Dorrans, who was superb at Villarreal, is still a few weeks away from returning after suffering a knee injury at the end of last month. Meanwhile, Jamie Murphy and Borna Barisic are both sidelined. The Gers could also be without Lee Wallace and Gareth McAuley in Russia.

Analysis: Gerrard’s Men to Nick it in Moscow

In truth, it could go either way at the Otkritie Arena. Like we saw two weeks ago, this has the potential to be another close game between these two, with both teams pushing for a win. Spartak will be desperate to get their season back up and running with a home victory while Rangers will be hoping to capitalise on Moscow’s woeful form. Our money is going on a narrow away win here, with the odds making that the best value.

One Goal Enough for the Visitors

Rangers have been hard to beat under Gerrard, losing just three of 25 games, with all three of those losses ending 1-0. The Gers have sealed several big wins this term, but Thursday’s match will surely be a close one. With that in mind, have a punt on the visitors to record a 1-0 win in Moscow, which you can get at the tempting odds of 9/1.

Colombian to Score Again for the Gers

Rangers’ Colombian striker Alfredo Morelos has been in top form in front of goal of late. The 22-year-old, who has flourished under Gerrard this term, has scored an impressive eight goals in his last nine games for the Teddy Bears. We fancy Morelos to score the opening goal of the game on Thursday, which is available at 7/1.

Away Side to Win Without Conceding

Rangers have kept six clean sheets in Europe this season, including against Spartak in Glasgow last month. Having stopped the opposition from scoring at the weekend too, back Rangers to win to nil at huge odds of 5/1 on Thursday night.

Recent Matches

Last month’s Europa League match at Ibrox was the first ever meeting between Rangers and Spartak Moscow.

25th October 2018: Rangers 0 – 0 Spartak Moscow

In the first ever game between these two clubs, Rangers and Spartak played out a pretty forgettable 0-0 draw. The Gers had most of the ball in Glasgow but never really troubled the Moscow defence. It was a frustrating night for Gerrard’s men, especially given the Russians had left a number of stars back at home, but the point was enough to keep them at the top of the group at the halfway point.

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