Defensive resolve can help Burnley prolong Europa adventure
Rangers can finish Maribor job
Third qualifying round second legs
Matches from 3pm Thursday
Burnley's defensive resolve helped the Clarets secure a goalless draw in the away leg of their qualifier with Istanbul Basaksehir and it could be a key factor in the return leg at Turf Moor.
The Clarets limited the Turkish side to just one shot on target last week and should be just as difficult to break down on home soil.
Sean Dyche’s men began their Premier League campaign with a 0-0 draw at Southampton on Sunday and showed no signs of a European hangover, boasting a superior share of possession and managing more shots on target than the Saints.
Basaksehir can be formidable opponents in their own backyard but they do not travel well in Europe. The Turks have managed only a solitary European away win in their history – against Bulgaria’s Ludogorets last term.
Burnley could also be boosted in the final third after striker Chris Wood, who did not feature in Istanbul, started their league opener at St Mary’s and is likely to play a part in this tie.
The Lancashire outfit needed extra-time to see off Aberdeen at home in the previous round though, and given that under 2.5 goals has landed in 90 minutes in each of their three Europa League games this term, any success looks likely to be a narrow one.
Rangers hold a 3-1 advantage in their tie with Maribor and can finish off the job at Ibrox.
Before this season, the Glaswegians had won just two of their last 14 European encounters but under new boss Steven Gerrard they have managed to meet expectation in this term’s qualifiers. The Gers have three wins and two draws from their five Europa League qualifying fixtures and have kept clean sheets in their two away matches.
Gerrard knows what it takes to succeed in European competition and can lead his side to victory against a Maribor outfit who have made it to the group stage of either the Champions League or Europa League just once in the last four seasons.
Hibernian have knocked out NSI Runavik and Asteras Tripolis en route to the third qualifying round but their European voyage could come to an end away to Molde.
Molde’s Europa League campaign started horrifically with defeat to Glenavon in the first qualifying round but they have recovered to net ten goals in their last four qualifiers.
They denied Hibs at Easter Road, with the first leg finishing goalless, and the Scots could be a touch undercooked compared to their Norwegian counterparts, who are midway through their domestic campaign and are top scorers in the Eliteserien.
Cork City and The New Saints face uphill battles in their qualifiers, both trailing 2-0 in their ties with Rosenborg and Midtjylland.
Burnley & under 2.5 goals
1pt 3-1 BoyleSports
Rangers draw no bet
2pts 5-4 general
2pts 8-11 general
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