Europa League Betting Tips

RB Leipzig vs Rangers betting tips: Europa League semi-final first leg preview, predictions and odds

RB Leipzig's only previous home match against Scottish opposition was a 2-0 win over Celtic in 2018; they then lost 2-1 in Glasgow and exited the competition. Die Roten Bullen have only won one of their last six European home matches. 

Rangers won 4-2 in Dortmund in February but, before that, they'd lost seven of their previous eight visits to Germany, winning just four of 24 matches in Germany overall. Before this season, their last win on German soil was against Leverkusen in 1998, with current Head Coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst scoring the opener.

RB Leipzig to win and both teams to score NO is 5/4.

Christopher Nkunku has scored 30 goals this season, including ten in UEFA competition. The French international is 15/4 to break the deadlock and 21/20 add to to his tally.

Match preview

Rangers have already been on a remarkable European adventure and they're now just one step away from the final.

When the Light Blues fell apart in Champions League qualifying, going out to Malmö, no one could've foreseen they'd still be fighting on the continent in May.

But, so far in the Europa League knockout phase, they've stunned Borussia Dortmund, ousted Crvena zvezda and then edged out Braga.

Against the Portuguese side, James Tavernier bagged a brace before Kemar Roofe tapped home as Rangers got through 3-2 after extra time.

So, the Gers are into their first European semi-final since 2008, beating Fiorentina at this stage before losing in the final to Zenit 14 years ago.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst's team are certainly underdogs to be in Seville on 18 May but won't lack belief coming into this tie.

RB Leipzig meanwhile have never won a major trophy in their admittedly short history, but are in good shape to change that in the coming weeks.

Die Roten Bullen finished third in their Champions League group in the Autumn, but have embraced the Europa League subsequently.

Domenico Tedesco's team have seen off Real Sociedad and then Atalanta, drawing at home before winning on the road both times.

A fortnight ago, Christopher Nkunku's brace in Bergamo was enough to see off the Italian side.

So, this is Leipzig's second semi-final in UEFA competition, falling to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League's last four in 2020.

No German club has reached the final of this competition since Werder Bremen in 2009; they lost to Shakhtar Donetsk in the last-ever UEFA Cup Final.

With Eintracht Frankfurt facing West Ham United in the other semi, it could yet be an all-German affair at Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán.

Leipzig meanwhile are through to their third DFB-Pokal Final in four seasons, beating Union Berlin 2-1 last midweek.

They'll face Freiburg at Olympiastadion on 21 May, hoping it's third time lucky in Berlin.

In the Bundesliga, they remain fourth, despite losing 2-1 to Union on Saturday, a game that ended their 15-match unbeaten streak in all competitions.

As for Rangers, they beat Motherwell 3-1 at the weekend, even after seeing Leon Balogun sent off mid-way through the first half.

They're still second in the Premiership, six points behind Celtic, but will contest the Scottish Cup Final against Hearts next month.

In this tie, Leipzig are clear favourites so, with the second leg to come at Ibrox, Rangers will just be hoping to leave Saxony still in the tie.

Who will be happier after this one at Red Bull Arena?

RB Leipzig team news

Domenico Tedesco has three key players suspended due to yellow card accumulation for this first leg.

They are key centre-backs Willi Orbán and Mohamed Simakan as well as pivotal midfielder Kevin Kampl.

Without the first two, Joško Gvardiol and Benjamin Henrichs could come into the back three, alongside Marcel Halstenberg.

In midfield, Tyler Adams is the likely beneficiary of Kampl's absence, joining Konrad Laimer as the double-pivot.

In attack, they have plenty of talented options, namely Dani Olmo, Dominik Szoboszlai, Emil Forsburg, Yussuf Yurary Poulsen and André Silva.

The guaranteed starter is top-scorer Christopher Nkunku who's already scored 30 times this season.

In September, he became the fourth player in Champions League history to score a hat-trick but lose the match, doing so in a 6-3 defeat at Man City.

The others are Ronaldo (2003), Gareth Bale (2010) and İrfan Can Kahveci (2020), the latter scoring his against Leipzig for İstanbul Başakşehir.

Rangers team news

Giovanni van Bronckhorst's team face Celtic in-between these two legs but, with the Premiership title practically gone, Europe warrants full focus.

However, the Light Blue make the trip to East Germany without numerous key players.

Alfredo Morelos is out for the rest of the season, while the man who'd been deputising up front, Kemar Roofe, is now also injured.

So, Fashion Sakala will start with Cedric Itten, who played against Leipzig earlier this season whilst on loan at Greuther Fürth, the alternative.

The other key absentee is Aaron Ramsey after he hobbled off during the Scottish Cup semi-final win at Hampden ten days ago.

Ryan Jack, John Lundstram, Ryan Kent and Joe Aribo were all on the bench at Fir Park on Saturday but will all return to the midfield here.

Calvin Bassey is expected to be reinstated at centre-back with Borna Barišić keeping his place on the left after his recent return to form.

Over in the other full-back position, James Tavernier scored his 80th goal for Rangers, converting a penalty against Motherwell.

He's currently the Europa League's joint-top scorer with six, all of which have come in the knockout phase.

With the other two players on six, Galeno and Karl Toko Ekambi, now out the competition, one more goal could secure the golden boot for the right-back.

Bundesliga 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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