Rangers vs Maribor preview, betting tips and prediction: Can Rangers overcome a side with a solid record against Scottish opposition?
Goals to be Shot
Under 1.5 Goals
Despite having no senior managerial experience, Steven Gerrard’s appointment by Rangers was viewed as a massive coup for Scottish football. And rightly so. The Liverpool legend is world-famous and his profile will bring the kind of exposure to Rangers that will need to challenge Celtic for the title.
Gerrard’s presence hasn’t brought in a raft of top-class players yet but, should the midfield legend prove to be a decent manager, he’ll be able to appeal to players who looked up to him in his heyday. The results thus far have been decent (two wins, three draws) and the performances encouraging in glimpses. But Gerrard is still finding his feet at Ibrox and Maribor could be the team to sweep his shaky legs (and slippy soles).
Indeed, Maribor have a good record against Scottish sides. Hailing from Slovenia, they have defeated Celtic, Hibs and Aberdeen along with Rangers in recent years. One of their country’s strongest sides, they lost out on the title last season due to an inferior goal difference, Olimpija Ljubljana pipping them to the post by four goals.
Maybe that is partly what has inspired their good form in the early season. Maribor midfielder Dino Hotic warned Rangers that would struggle to score against them after a run of six games without conceding a goal. Of course, that led to them conceding twice over the weekend. Luckily, they bagged five in that win over Aluminij. Rangers face a tough test in a game that we don’t expect to be high-scoring.
Ryan Jack suffered a head injury in the 1-1 draw with Aberdeen at the weekend so could be out of action as a precaution. Striker Alfredo Morelos was sent off in that stalemate and will almost certainly be in action here with a league ban set to follow.
Maribor have a fully-fit squad.