After a pair of shocking results last week, Rangers received some good news on the form of their Europa League opponents.
We reported on Friday, that Rapid faced a major test of their form in a big Austrian Bundesliga fixture on Sunday. They welcomed fifth-placed SK Sturm Graz to the Allianz Stadion, and drew a blank.
The match finished 0-0, ensuring the Green-Whites remain a lowly eighth out of twelve in the league table, three points adrift of seventh placed Hartberg.
It would appear that Thursday’s opponent’s have a similar issue to Rangers at the minute. Their 16 league goals this season, mean they are averaging less than one per game, domestically.
Last weekend, it took a 92nd minute goal from substitute substitute, Veton Berisha, to see off FC Wacker Innsbruck, 1-0. This week, there was to be no late intervention.
Rapid failed to create opportunities
Encouragingly for Rangers fans, one particular stat suggests that the recent lack of goals, can’t be put down to misfortune. In Sunday’s clash with Sturm Graz, they mustered only one shot on target.
Clearly, they are struggling to create chances.
For a Rangers side which is unsure defensively, this is a major bonus. Despite all the talk about the atmosphere that the home fans will create, they can rest assured that the team in front of them is unlikely to blow them away.
Far from a fortress, Rapid have won just three league matches at home this year.
Their weekend result, was just another indicator of form that will encourage the Gers ahead of Thursday’s must-win encounter.