Europa League Betting Tips: Best Value Picks on Frankfurt vs Rangers

Europa League Betting Tips: Best Value Picks on Frankfurt vs Rangers
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Europa League Final Tips:

After another lengthy campaign which began with the qualifying rounds in early August, the Europa League will reach its conclusion on Wednesday – and betting sites believe the final could go either way.

Eintracht Frankfurt have won this tournament once before, emerging victorious in 1980 with an away-goals victory over their domestic rivals Borussia Monchengladbach. They reached the semi-finals of the Europa League three years ago but were knocked out on penalties by Chelsea, the eventual winners.

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Frankfurt are unbeaten in continental competition this season. They finished top of Group D before Christmas, with three wins and three draws against Olympiacos, Fenerbahce and Antwerp.

A 3-2 aggregate victory over Real Betis followed in the round of 16, before Oliver Glasner’s side edged out Barcelona in the last eight. They booked their place in the Seville showpiece by beating West Ham United 3-1 on aggregate in the semis.

After overcoming Alashkert in a qualification play-off, Rangers’ Europa League campaign got off to a bad start as Steven Gerrard’s side lost 2-0 to Lyon on matchday one and 1-0 to Sparta Prague a fortnight later. By the time the group stage ended, Gerrard had been replaced by Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Rangers had secured a second-place finish behind Lyon.

This is Rangers’ second appearance in the Europa League final: their first was in 2008, when they were beaten 2-0 by Zenit Saint Petersburg in Manchester. The current squad has the chance to win the club’s second European trophy after the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1972.

Eintracht Frankfurt Have Impressed On a Consistent Basis

Eintracht Frankfurt have been all-in on the Europa League for a while now. None of their last eight fixtures in the Bundesliga have produced a victory, while Glasner’s chargers have failed to score in a majority of them. Sixth in the standings at the midway point of the campaign, Frankfurt finished down in 11th spot in the table.

Consistency has eluded them in the Bundesliga – but the same cannot be said for the Europa League.

Frankfurt have had a difficult path to the final. They were the underdogs in each of their knockout ties against Real Betis, Barcelona and West Ham yet found a way to get past all three opponents.

Frankfurt’s electric counter-attacking has played a big part in getting them here. Out of the 40 teams that have participated in the Europa League knockout phase, they rank 24th for possession and 20th for shots per game. Frankfurt tend not to dominate the teams they face, but their speed in transition has caused problems for the sides they have come up against.

Frankfurt will stick with their usual 3-4-3 formation, but it will be interesting to see whether Rangers opt for a 4-2-3-1 or match up with the German outfit. They used a 3-4-3 (although at times it resembled more of a 5-4-1) to great effect in the 3-1 victory over Leipzig in the second leg of the semi-final.

A contest between two teams playing the same systems could potentially make the one-versus-one battles right across the pitch decisive.

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Rangers Will Not Benefit From Raucous Ibrox Crowd This Time

Rangers are not exactly a possession-focused team themselves, at least not in Europe.

Indeed, their domestic dominance (Celtic won the Scottish title, but Rangers are far ahead of the chasing pack) necessitates a front-foot approach when playing in the Premiership, but Van Bronckhorst’s men have favoured a more reactive approach in Europe. In the above possession ranking, they are four places below their upcoming opponents in 28th.

The final could be a case of both teams waiting for the right moment to hit the other in transition. That tactical dynamic, together with the high-stakes nature of a European final, meaning we could be in store for a cagey encounter - particularly in the opening 45 minutes. It would not be a huge surprise if the deadlock does not get broken until the second half.

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Ultimately, UK bookmakers probably have it right by making Frankfurt the favourites. Both teams will be roared on by their vociferous fan bases, but the fact this match is taking place at a neutral venue harms Rangers more than it does Frankfurt.

Ibrox has been a huge factor in the former’s run to the final, most notably when the Scottish champions overturned first-leg deficits in home games against Braga and RB Leipzig.

At 5/4, Frankfurt are decent value to win within 90 minutes. Another bet to consider offers attractive odds of 9/2 – a draw at half-time and a Frankfurt win at full-time.

Plenty of Other Markets to Consider for Seville Showdown

The goalscorer market is a popular one with punters, and football betting sites reckon there are several contenders to find the back of the net on Wednesday.

The favourite to score anytime is, slightly surprisingly, Goncalo Paciencia at 23/10 with William Hill. The Portuguese has only one goal to his name in his last 15 appearances in all competitions, so we would not recommend taking that wager up.

At 7/2 James Tavernier is a much more appealing option. With seven strikes so far, the Rangers man is the tournament’s leading goalscorer going into the final – despite being a defender. Tavernier takes penalties but he is also a threat from open play, and the aforementioned price means it is worth a flutter on the 30-year-old adding to his tally for the season.

Some may consider over 2.5 goals at 17/20 with Ladbrokes, or even over 3.5 at 11/5 with bet365. 64 percent of these two teams’ knockout matches have featured three or more goals, but finals tend to be much tighter than what went before so we would probably steer clear of that particular bet.