'Doozy of match, I hope I'm wrong': The Scotsman sports writers' predictions ahead of Rangers v Eintracht Frankfurt Europa League final

Ahead of the Europa League final between Rangers and Eintracht Frankfurt, we asked our team of journalists what they think will happen at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan ...

David Oliver: The omens are all there. Spanish host city, German semi-finalists, the 50th and 150th anniversaries. The stars suggest Rangers are following the correct script in Seville, and even on form and raw statistics, it’s hard to see past the Scottish side. Four games and four wins, they have momentum that Frankfurt don’t. Oliver Glasner’s side needs to look back more than two months to reach that tally. Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s tactical tweaks can affect the fine margins at this level and with Rangers conceding in 10 of their last 12 there’s every chance Frankfurt will score, but will have to counter the manager’s nous that has already undone their Bundesliga colleagues Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig. Add to that the Europa League’s top scorer. Without a natural striker Rangers are still not struggling for goals, but Ryan Kent is. The winger is a crucial component to Rangers’ play and now is the time to end his drought and join James Tavernier on the scoresheet in Spain. I reckon Rangers will win 3-1.

Aidan Smith: Rangers have a European anthem, “Make Us Dream” by Saint Phnx. It didn’t pop up in the Eurovision Song Contest – there were no Ibrox bears mixing it with Norway’s banana-munching wolfmen – but has just shot to No 2 in the iTunes chart. Can the team reach No 1, win the Europa League, add it to the Cup Winners’ Cup lifted 50 years ago next Tuesday? Yes they can. But they will need Allan McGregor to produce two, maybe three more age-defying saves for the career storybook. John Lundstram and Calvin Bassey, who ran RB Leipzig off the park, will each have to locate the turbo-charge button. Someone may have to be a revelation, like Joe Aribo when pushed up front. Short of strikers, the goals might have to come from unlikely places. “We follow you, so make us dream,” goes that song. It’s almost a demand. 2-1 to Rangers.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Matthew Elder: Frankfurt are very good on their day – Barcelona and West Ham will testify to that – but the team currently ranked 11th in the Bundesliga will hold no fears for a Rangers side who have already disposed of superior German opposition in Dortmund and Leipzig en route to the final. Much will depend on who adapts to the humid conditions best, but Rangers have proven to be a very durable side under Giovanni van Bronckhorst, capable of starting matches at a high-tempo and carrying it through the 90 minutes and beyond, which is what it will take to get their hands on the trophy. Van Bronckhort has displayed the tactical nous required to win the big games in Europe. My prediction: James Tavernier on the scoresheet, Allan McGregor heroics, goals at both ends, and Rangers to edge it after extra-time.

Rangers fans have asked their players to "make them dream" - will they deliver in Seville?Rangers fans have asked their players to "make them dream" - will they deliver in Seville?
Rangers fans have asked their players to "make them dream" - will they deliver in Seville?

Joel Sked: I don't agree with the bookmakers' view on the match with Eintracht Frankfurt odds-on to lift the trophy. That shouldn't be seen as a slight on the German side – Rangers will have to treat them with the utmost respect. They possess a number of big performers. However, the Ibrox side have already overcome much more revered and simply better Bundesliga opposition already. Yes, they won't have the Ibrox factor but this is a side which has grown and developed on the European stage. Ever since Steven Gerrard took over they have been a strong Europa League outfit. There is a lot to like about this Rangers side who just seem to muster something extra on Europa League nights. Maybe they just really like playing on Thursday ... albeit the final is on Wednesday. I reckon Rangers will edge it in a doozy of an encounter.

Alan Pattullo: I have always retained an interest in Eintracht Frankfurt because they were the first continental side I saw play live. And no the occasion wasn't the famous 1960 European Cup final at Hampden Park … it was April 1985. The German team visited Dens Park for a rather less celebrated 2-2 draw against Dundee in a friendly. They were also beaten 3-1 by Hearts on the same tour, which may or may not have been to mark the 25th anniversary of the aforementioned clash against Real Madrid. They lost a match still reckoned to be among the greatest of all time 7-3. Eintracht Frankfurt must be regarded as a force. They are a name to conjure with and clearly have pedigree. Their march to this latest final, which included a comprehensive win in the Nou Camp, has been impressive. But so too has been the way Rangers have negotiated the hurdles to Seville. The Ibrox side have done it in style despite injury setbacks. The news striker Kemar Roofe will be available is a huge boost. I predict Rangers to make history against a team I have fondness for and become the first Scottish club to win this competition. Rangers to win 2-1 in extra time.

Mark Atkinson: It’s quite remarkable to be at this stage of a European competition and have a team in the final. As BT Sport commentator Rory Hamilton said when Rangers defeated Borussia Dortmund, this sort of thing isn’t supposed to happen to clubs of these shores. Rangers’ run has been incredible to be part of and they will never get a better chance to win a European trophy again. The fact this isn’t at Ibrox is a concern – their trump card in this tournament – and that makes me wonder, along with Alfredo Morelos’ absence and Kemar Roofe’s lack of game-time if Eintracht Frankfurt might just edge this, perhaps in extra time. I hope I’m wrong. Regardless of your prediction, or indeed club affiliation, sit back and watch what will be a momentous night.