Rangers play their first Europa League match of the season on Thursday night after dropping out of the Champions League, and Sporting Lisbon are the visitors to Ibrox for the first leg of their last 32 match. The Scottish side are favourites at odds of 5/4 with Ladbrokes as they look to gain an advantage ahead of the second leg in Lisbon, while Sporting can be backed at 7/4, with the draw available at 11/5.
Walter Smith's Rangers have lost leading scorer Kenny Miller to Bursaspor and are further weakened by the loss of Lee McCulloch to injury and the ineligible Nikica Jelavic. But they do welcome back Steven Naismith and Kyle Lafferty from injury, and 10 goal Naismith looks a decent punt to score first on Thursday at odds of 7/1 with Ladbrokes, or 9/4 to score anytime.
They remain second in the Scottish Premier League and have been on a decent run of form with five clean sheets in their last seven at home, with a Rangers clean sheet priced at 6/4 this week. They will no doubt welcome a return to European action as they have fine pedigree in this competition and were beaten UEFA Cup finalists in 2008. They beat Sporting over two legs on their way to the final, with the match at Ibrox ending 0-0 and Rangers winning 2-0 in Lisbon.
Rangers will be keen to extend an unbeaten six match home record against Portuguese opposition. Lisbon in contrast have failed to win their last six matches in Scotland and are seemingly a club in turmoil after throwing a 2-0 lead away against Olhanense at the weekend to draw 2-2. They have had a poor season and are third in the Portuguese league, 23 points behind Porto, and there was further drama with the news Simon Vukcevic is likely to be left out of the squad after a bust up with manager Paulo Sergio.
Meanwhile, over 2.5 goals in the match is worth a look with Ladbrokes.com at odds of 11/10, as Lisbon's last six matches have involved over 2.5 goals as have three of Rangers last four. Lisbon, who include former Rangers man Pedro Mendes, have a habit of scoring first this season and throwing away leads - with that in mind, Lisbon to score first at 5/4 could be a decent punt as are the odds of 9/2 for Rangers to come from behind and win or draw.
Sporting have failed to win their last two Europa League away matches and that run could continue at Ibrox, with a 2-1 Rangers win available at odds of 8/1 with Ladbrokes. Lisbon could do offer a goalscoring threat though as they have scored in each of their last six and former Tottenham man Helder Postiga has scored three in five starts in Europe and is a 7/1 punt to score first. But ultimately Rangers should enjoy home advantage and indeed take advantage of their opposition's troubles.
Rangers v Sporting Lisbon Form
Check the season's statistics for both Rangers and Sporting Lisbon plus the odds ahead of Thursday's match.
Rangers v Sporting Lisbon Tips
Tip #1: Over 2.5 goals in the match @ 11/10 with Ladbrokes.com
Tip #2: Rangers to come from behind and win or draw @ 9/2 with Ladbrokes.com
Tip #3: Rangers to win the match @ 5/4 with Ladbrokes.com
7/4 Sporting Lisbon
Correct Score Odds
5/1 Rangers 1-0
8/1 Rangers 2-0
8/1 Rangers 2-1
11/2 Draw 0-0
5/1 Draw 1-1
14/1 Draw 2-2
6/1 Sporting Lisbon 1-0
10/1 Sporting Lisbon 2-0
9/1 Sporting Lisbon 2-1
First Goalscorer Odds
6/1 David Healy
6/1 Kyle Lafferty
7/1 Steven Naismith
7/1 Helder Postiga
8/1 Vladimir Weiss
8/1 Yannick Djalo
9/1 El-Hadji Diouf
10/1 Matias Fernandez
10/1 Simon Vukcevic
12/1 John Fleck
Odds supplied by Ladbrokes.com, plus over 100 other betting markets on this match and all the week's Europa League matches, including live betting in-running.
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