Rangers have been given a huge Europa League boost this afternoon as Rapid Vienna have sacked their manager.

Goran Djuricin has received his marching orders after a dreadful 2-0 defeat at home to St Polten. The result condemned Rapid to just one win in their last seven matches. This included a terrible 1-0 home defeat to local rivals Austria Vienna.

Djuricin had also been accused of making derogatory gestures towards his own support in the St Polten defeat. The result yesterday appears to be the tip of the iceberg for the Rapid board after a series of disappointing results this season.

Rapid Vienna’s Sporting Director has seen enough of Goran Djuricin (Johann Schwarz/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)

With Djuricin sacked, it appears Vienna will be arriving at Ibrox managerless. Instead, assistant manager Thomas Hickersberger looks set to take control on Thursday night. He and Martin Bernhard will take control of training over the next week.

Neither side come in particularly happy

Unfortunately, Rangers don’t necessarily come into the match high in form either. A dreadful 1-0 defeat to Livington at the Toni Macaroni Arena sees Steven Gerrard’s side desperately needing a pick-me-up. By the looks of things, Rapid could be the side to provide that.

One thing Rangers have to take into consideration ahead of Thursday night, however, is the one big result Rapid have had as of late. Indeed, whilst Rangers drew 2-2 in Villarreal, Rapid were topping the group. An impressive 2-0 home win against Spartak Moscow was a good distraction for Vienna outside of their domestic woes.

Steven Gerrard’s Rangers need to pick themselves up from Livi defeat (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

After Rangers’ display against Livingston, Gerrard’s side could do with a similar distraction on Thursday night.

If Rangers are to progress from the group stage, they need to win their home games. An out-of-sorts Rapid side who are clearly suffering from a crisis will provide that opportunity.

Gerrard will have plenty to ponder ahead of the contest with his team-selection after the Livi performance. Rangers go into the game desperately needing a result for morale. Rapid offer a chance to bounce back with a big win.

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