Eintracht Franfurt vs Rangers, Thursday 5am AEST
The Europa Cup comes to a conclusion this Thursday 19th May (Australian time) when Eintracht Franfurt from Germany take on the most successful club in Scottish football, Rangers.
Eintracht Frankfurt came first in Group D in a group featuring Olympiacos (Greece), Fenerbahce (Turkey) and Antwerp (Belgium). They then qualified for the knock-out phase where they beat Betis (Spain), Barcelona (Spain) and West Ham (England) en route to the final.
Rangers came second in Group A in which they needed to get past Lyon (France), Sparta Praque (Czechia) and Brondby (Denmark). As the second placed team, they had to win the play off against Borrussia Dortmund (Germany) which they did 6-4 on aggregate before knocking out Red Star (Serbia), Braga (Portugal) and Leipzig (Germany), setting up a showdown with Eintracht Frankfurt, which will be played in Seville.
This will be Eintracht’s 3rd ever major European final appearance after losing to Real Madrid in the European Cup (nowadays UEFA Champions League) in 1960 and winning the UEFA Cup (nowadays Europa Cup) against compatriots, Borrisia Monchengladbach in 1980.
Rangers won the European Cup Winners Cup in 1972 against Dynamo Moscow (USSR) after losing the finals in 1961 and 1967. They were also the runner-up in the 2008 UEFA Cup Final against Zenit St Petersburg (Russia).
The match itself has a slight Australian flavour. Former Socceroos captain and legend, Craig Moore made his name on the big stage with Rangers, who have also had other Australians such as Tony Vidmar, Kevin Muscat and David Mitchell representing the blue half of Glasgow in years gone by. Eintracht Frankfurt has current Australian international Ajdan Hrustic controlling their midfield and will be keen for a big game with World Cup qualifiers coming up.
Players to look out for Rangers will be:
For Eintracht Frankfurt:
For Australian viewers, the match starts 5am AEST and will be shown live on Stan or 9GEM. Bookies have Eintracht as the favourites. Betting for the 90 minute result has Eintracht paying 2.30, Rangers 3.05 with the draw at 3.40. To lift the trophy, Eintracht are 1.67 and Rangers are 2.20.
Eintracht Franfurt vs Rangers Prediction:
Rangers to win the match in extra time 3-2.