Fifty years after winning the Cup Winners’ Cup, and 14 years since their last European final, Rangers will be looking to make history by becoming the first Scottish club to win the Uefa Europa League.
After beating RB Leipzig 3-2 on aggregate in a thrilling semi-final, Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst said he has “belief” ahead of the huge clash against Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday night in Seville. To reach a final is “always a good feeling”, he said, but you will have “a better feeling” if you win the final. “That’s all we have to do.” The Dutchman is confident that his team can “put on a performance to give us the best possibility to win it”.
Rangers captain James Tavernier, a right-back, is the top scorer in this season’s Europa League with seven goals. The defender believes his club have “got to fancy ourselves” in the final. “You reach the final for a reason, so we’re upbeat,” he said. “We are full of confidence and we are going to give it absolutely everything we’ve got.”
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Eintracht Frankfurt arrive at the final stage having beaten Barcelona 4-3 on aggregate in the quarters and West Ham United 3-1 on aggregate in the semis. “Slowly something is falling into place,” said head coach Oliver Glasner. “It’s the best thing when you can make so many people happy. For us, it’s all about this final.”
A ‘football fiesta’ in Seville
Seville is set to celebrate a “football fiesta”, said Graham Keeley in The Sunday Post. The Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán Stadium, which is hosting the final, has a capacity of just 43,883, but according to some estimates there could be up to 100,000 fans coming to the Spanish city from the blue side of Glasgow while 60,000 Eintracht supporters will travel from Germany. “We are preparing for a big party,” said Sara Maes, a journalist who works for Sevilla FC.
Kick-off time and how to watch for free
The 2022 Uefa Europa League final will be held on Wednesday 18 May at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán Stadium in Seville, Spain. Kick-off is at 8pm (BST) and the match will be shown live on BT Sport 1, with coverage starting from 6.30pm. BT Sport will also live stream the match free to air at btsport.com/final, via the BT Sport app for small and large-screen devices, and on its YouTube channel.
Possible starting XIs
How the teams could line up at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán Stadium, according to Uefa.com:
- Frankfurt: Kevin Trapp; Almamy Touré, Tuta, Evan Ndicka; Ansgar Knauff, Djibril Sow, Sebastian Rode, Filip Kostić; Jens Petter Hauge, Daichi Kamada, Rafael Borré
- Rangers: Allan McGregor; Connor Goldson, John Lundstram, Calvin Bassey; James Tavernier, Ryan Jack, Glen Kamara, Borna Barišić; Scott Wright, Joe Ayodele-Aribo, Ryan Kent
Pundit predictions: who will win the Europa League?
According to Oddschecker.com, the bookies make Eintracht Frankfurt the favourites to win the final on Wednesday. The Germans are priced at 5/7 while Rangers are 5/4.
Frankfurt may have struggled in the Bundesliga this season, but in Europe they have been “a force to be reckoned with”, said Aditya Hosangadi on SportsKeeda. They are the “better team” and “hold the upper hand – Frankfurt 2-1 Rangers”.
The Gers have “done their fans and everyone associated with the club proud” by making it to the final, said Ben Knapton on SportsMole. However, this may just be “a step too far for them”, with Frankfurt “acclimatised to winning on Spanish turf and boasting the attacking aplomb needed to travel home with the trophy”.
Frankfurt are “doing the business” in the Europa League, said Dean Smith on Squawka.com. But while Rangers are “short of the quality other sides possess”, they have shown so much “fight, heart and grit” that you “absolutely could not write them off going further”.
Despite what the layers may think, Rangers are “certainly capable of upsetting the odds” in Wednesday’s showpiece and “can end 50 years of hurt”, said Dan Childs on Racing Post. “They have risen to the occasion numerous times on their journey to the final and they do so again in Seville, allowing Gers fans to celebrate what would be one of the greatest nights in the club’s history.”
Chris Sutton, who played for Celtic in the 2003 Uefa Cup final, is backing Rangers to beat Frankfurt. “I fancy Rangers strongly,” he told the BT Sport Highlights Show: “They’ve come so far and I think Rangers will win it.”
Data experts from FiveThirtyEight predict that Rangers have a 53% chance of lifting the trophy in Seville.
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