Europa League Betting Tips

Braga vs Rangers betting tips: Europa League quarter-final first leg preview, predictions and odds

Rangers are currently unbeaten in 13 matches against Portuguese clubs, dating back to a 1-0 defeat to Marítimo in 2004. The Gers haven't lost in mainland Portugal since 1983. Braga though have only lost two of their last 18 European home games.

Both teams to score is 4/5.

Ricardo Horta has scored 17 Europa League goals for Braga, including four this season. He is 4/1 to break the deadlock and 13/10 to score anytime.

James Tavernier has scored four times in the knockout phase so far. The captain is 15/2 to open the scoring and 13/5 to score anytime.

Match preview

These two have both appeared in the final of this competition in recent times, so who will stay on track for this season's showpiece on 18 May?

Rangers' performances in the knockout stages so far have been nothing short of remarkable.

First, the Light Blues overcame German giants Borussia Dortmund, securing an astonishing 4-2 victory away before a 2-2 draw at home.

This saw them reach the round of 16 for a third consecutive season but, this time, that didn't prove to be the end of the line.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side hammered Crvena zvezda 3-0 at Ibrox so were in cruise control, despite a last-minute 2-1 defeat in Belgrade.

Thus, the Gers are through to a first European quarter-final since getting all the way to the UEFA Cup Final in 2008, losing 2-0 to Zenit.

Right now, following Sunday's events, Rangers rather need Europe to save their season.

At the weekend, despite taking a third minute lead through Aaron Ramsey, Celtic prevailed in the Old Firm, thereby moving six points clear at the top.

Those two meet again in the Scottish Cup on Easter Sunday but, realistically, for Rangers to make this season a success, they might have to win the Europa League.

Braga meanwhile are very much part of the Europa League furniture with their best run coming in 2011 when they were beaten by rivals Porto in the final.

This year, Carlos Carvalhal's side came second in their section, below Red Star Belgrade, the side Rangers have just dumped out.

Since, Braga have edged past FC Sheriff Tiraspol in a penalty shootout before a much more commanding 3-1 victory over Monaco.

In stark-contrast to their visitors, the Archbishops come into this buoyant having beaten Benfica 3-2 on Friday night; Vitinha with the winner.

This leaves them fourth in the Primeira Liga, unlikely to end up any higher or indeed lower.

Braga never been Portuguese champions but have lifted six cups in the last decade, including the Taça de Portugal and Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira in 2021.

These two clubs actually met as recently as February 2020 when Rangers came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at home, before a 1-0 victory in Portugal.

Will it be the travelling fans from Scotland celebrating at Estádio Municipal de Braga once again?

Braga team news

First-choice left-back Nuno Sequeira is injured and 18 year old Rodrigo Gomes could continue to deputise.

Midfielder Al-Musrati, André Castro and Francisco Moura are all one booking away from suspension, although the former is the only likely starter.

Captain Ricardo Horta will be looking to add to his 17 European goals for the club, having netted against four of the five clubs they've faced so far.

Abel Ruiz will lead the line; he scored the second goal as Braga raced into a 2-0 lead at Ibrox 26 months ago.

Rangers team news

The visitors are without Alfredo Morelos who returned from international duty with a long-term injury.

This is a huge blow as he's the third all-time top scorer in the Europa League/UEFA Cup, below only Henrik Larsson and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

Kemar Roofe got the not as his deputy on Sunday, meaning both his starts under Giovanni van Bronckhorst have come against Celtic.

However, Fashion Sakala could come in for this one to offer pace in behind.

Ianis Hagi's brace inspired Rangers' comeback against Braga in 2020, but he hasn't featured since January due to a knee injury.

So, Joe Aribo and Ryan Kent could continue to flank Aaron Ramsey who last scored in Europe for Juventus against Lokomotiv Moskva in November 2019.

Aribo, Sakala and John Lundstram, who's also likely to start, are one booking away from sitting out the second leg.

40 year old Allan McGregor has made more saves in the Europa League this season (30) than any other goalkeeper.

Just in front of him, with Filip Helander not in the UEFA squad, Leon Balogun will continue as Connor Goldson's partner.

Primeira Liga table:

Scottish Premiership table:

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Ben Gray

Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".

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