Even after holding on to a goalless draw in Holland, Rangers will have to produce something special in order to make it to the Europa League quarter-finals. PSV missed a great chance to create an advantage before the game at Ibrox as they completely outplayed their opponents, but they are still in a good position to qualify.
Gers too inconsistent
This season can hardly be dubbed successful for Rangers and Walter Smith’s side will have to produce something special in the closing stages of the season if they want to get something out of it. Gers were easily eliminated from the Champions League, although they did manage to finish third and make it to the Europa League, where they were very lucky to eliminate Sporting Lisbon after two successive draws. Gers were then completely outplayed in Eindhoven but again managed to avoid defeat, although I have a feeling that their luck is slowly running out. Walter Smith’s side have not been in great form of late, having twice lost to Celtic during the last few weeks and the odds are that they will pay much more attention to the Scottish Co-operative Insurance Cup final against Celtic due on Sunday than the PSV game.
Nikica Jelavic is ineligible, while Lee McCulloch, Kirk Broadfoot, Sasa Papac and Jamie Ness remain sidelined. Steve Naismith should return to the side after recovering from a hamstring problem.
PSV looking to make things right
As it was expected, PSV dominated large periods of the game in Eindhoven and they were really unlucky not to have scored at least one or two goals. With Rangers parking the bus in their own half it was not so easy for the Dutch team to create chances, so a goalless draw shouldn’t be seen as a poor result, but PSV now have a great chance to record a victory as Gers will have to attack at Ibrox. Unlike the hosts who will be thinking about Sunday’s Old Firm derby, the visitors will be fully focused on this game, as witnessed by Fred Rutten’s decision to rest a couple of starters against NEC last weekend. Since we are likely to see a very open game, PSV’s technical superiority is likely to prevail here, meaning strikers Berg and Lens will have more than enough chances to hurt Gers’ shaky defence.
Fred Rutten will again have full squad to choose from as Stanislav Manolev should play with a protective mask after fracturing his cheekbone.
Rangers escaped the first match with a draw but they won’t be so lucky this time as PSV should have enough space to prove their technical superiority. Gers will also be thinking about the game with Celtic due just three days later and I don’t see how they will make it to the next round.
Our prediction: PSV to win with 0:0 Asian handicap
Odds: 1.76 (38/50)