Eintracht Frankfurt vs Rangers predictions: German side to edge tight final
Eintracht Frankfurt and Rangers will meet in the Europa League final on Wednesday at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium in Seville as both teams look to end their long waits for European glory.
Bundesliga outfit Frankfurt have not tasted success on the continent since beating German rivals Borussia Monchengladbach over two legs in the 1980 UEFA Cup final.
Meanwhile, Rangers' wait for European success dates back even further to when they beat Dynamo Moscow in the Cup Winners' Cup final of 1972, although they did reach the UEFA Cup final 14 years ago, losing that showpiece to Zenit Saint Petersburg in Manchester.
Both teams will be taking a large following to Seville and it is not only a European trophy that will be at stake, as the winner will also secure an automatic place in next season's Champions League group stage.
Frankfurt have injury concerns to contend with heading into Wednesday's match, particularly in defence, as key centre-back Martin Hinteregger sustained a hamstring issue during the second leg of their semi-final victory over West Ham and will definitely miss out.
There were also concerns regarding fellow defender Evan Ndicka, who was forced off during Saturday's 2-2 draw with Mainz on the final day of the Bundesliga season, although it is understood that was merely a precaution.
Diant Ramaj and Danny da Costa are both unavailable to coach Oliver Glasner, but key figures Daichi Kamada, Ansgar Knauff and Filip Kostic are set to feature.
Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst opted to rest the majority of his starting XI for Saturday's Scottish Premiership victory over Hearts, with the likes of James Tavernier, Allan McGregor and Ryan Kent all expected to be recalled.
Van Bronckhorst will also be hoping to call upon striker Kemar Roofe, who has been sidelined for a month with a knee injury but is closing in on a return.
Fellow striker Alfredo Morelos is not so lucky and remains on the treatment table alongside centre-back Filip Helander.
This is not the first time these two sides have met in European competition, as they also locked horns in the European Cup semi-finals of 1960, with Frankfurt prevailing 12-4 on aggregate before losing 7-3 in a famous final to Real Madrid at Hampden Park.
Frankfurt have arguably been the most impressive side in this season's Europa League, as they remain unbeaten in the competition, taking the scalps of Real Betis, Barcelona and West Ham along the way.
Rangers have also caught the eye, particularly during the knockout stages and they have already beaten two German sides in this season's competition, getting the better of both Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig.
The Gers also boast the leading scorer in this season's competition in captain and right-back Tavernier, who netted his seventh goal of the campaign during the semi-final victory over Leipzig.
Japan international Kamada has arguably been Frankfurt's key figure, contributing five goals, while nobody has provided more assists in the Europa League this season than Kostic (5).
After finishing 11th in the final Bundesliga standings, it is fair to say Frankfurt have saved their best for the Europa League and they will head to Seville having already won twice this season on Spanish soil against Betis and Barca.
Die Adler are not only unbeaten in the Europa League this season, but they have also scored in all 12 of their matches, a trick they are likely to repeat in this final.
Rangers have proven they have the tools to cope without notable absentees, but if Roofe is unable to recover in time then it is hard to see where the goals will come from — relying on right-back Tavernier to provide that spark seems unlikely.
Having lost four of the five previous European finals they have played in, it is difficult to see Rangers getting the better of Frankfurt, who may fancy their chances of winning what is likely to be a tight game to nil.