The route to the group stages of the Europa League is almost complete for a number of the teams in the competition. The only thing that will stand between these sides and a place in the group stages will be one final win in the competition this week. But, which teams will be able to book their spot, and which will face the ultimate disappointment of falling at the final hurdle?
Tottenham Hotspur vs Maccabi Haifa
It has already been a very busy week for Tottenham Hotspur, but they will be back in action at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday for the second time three days. Spurs reached the quarterfinals of the EFL Cup on Tuesday evening as they beat Chelsea on penalties. However, Jose Mourinho will be keen to keep his excellent record in Europe going.
This will be Tottenham’s first game at home in the competition this season, as they have already beaten Lokomotiv Plovdiv and Shkendija away from home. Spurs have needed to ride their luck in both of these games so far. Their most recent game in the competition came against the latter, and they needed late goals from Heung Min-Son and Harry Kane to secure their passage.
This will be Maccabi Haifa’s third game in the competition this season, as they entered the Europa League at the first qualifying round. In their most recent game, they came up against FC Rostov. Nikita Rukavytsya and Mohammed Abu Fani scored the goals for them in the win. However, it is likely that their European adventure ends in North London.
Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur at 0.19 with BetXChange.
Rangers vs Galatasaray
The most interesting playoff game in this round of the competition will see Scottish Premier League side Rangers come up against Galatasaray. Both of these sides have renowned European quality, with Rangers going deep in this competition last season. However, only one of them will make the group stages this time around.
Rangers have started the new season well, but Steven Gerrard will be hoping that his side will be playing European football. They have scored a combined total of nine goals in their two recent Europa League games, with four of those coming in their win against Willem II. They have also scored nine goals in their last two games, with their recent 5-1 SPL win against Motherwell being one of their performances of the season.
However, Galatasaray present a really serious threat to Rangers as they boast an array of attacking quality. They are yet to find their best form this season, but they have scored seven goals in their last four games. They have only conceded one goal across these fixtures. Their recent win over reigning Super Lig champions Istanbul Basaksehir highlights that they have the quality to hurt Rangers. Galatasaray have already beaten Neftci and Hajduk Split in the Europa League this competition. They could have too much quality for Rangers if they play at their very best level. But, it should be a thrilling match at Ibrox, with both sides finding the net.
Prediction: Both teams to score at 0.75 with BetXChange.