Benfica vs Rangers Predictions

Benfica vs Rangers predictions for this Europa League clash. Rangers head to Estadio da Luz in Lisbon to face Benfica in the Europa League last-16 first leg on Thursday night. Can the Gers get a positive result? Read on for all our free predictions and betting tips.


Europa League | Round of 16 | 1st Leg | Mar 7, 2024 at 8pm UK at Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica

Benfica vs Rangers Predictions

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The Duel in Lisbon: A Tale of Two Football Philosophies

Key Stats

– Benfica remains unbeaten at home in the Europa League, with a record of 21 wins and six draws.

– Rangers have only lost one of their last seven European trips to Portugal, showcasing their ability to perform on Portuguese soil.

– The previous encounters between these sides have ended in high-scoring draws, underlining their evenly matched nature and the potential for goals.

In a European contest laden with history and potential, Benfica and Rangers are set to reignite their rivalry in the Europa League last-16 tie at the Estadio da Luz. The previous encounters between these two storied clubs have produced goal-laden draws, setting the stage for another thrilling duel in Lisbon.

Tactical Analysis and Key Battles

Benfica, under Rodger Schmidt’s stewardship, has shown a predilection for attacking football, a strategy that, while yielding goals, has recently exposed vulnerabilities at the back, most notably in their heavy defeat to Porto. Schmidt’s reliance on attacking talents like Rafa Silva and Ángel Di María necessitates a balanced approach against a Rangers side capable of exploiting spaces on the counter.


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Rangers, guided by Philippe Clement, have demonstrated resilience and tactical flexibility in Europe. Their record in Portugal, coupled with a robust performance in the Scottish Premiership, underlines their ability to rise to the occasion. The midfield tussle, potentially featuring Rangers’ John Lundstram and Benfica’s Florentino Luis, could be decisive in controlling the game’s rhythm.

Strategic Insights

Benfica’s recent defensive woes call for a tightened backline, especially against Rangers’ counter-attacking threat. Adapting to a more balanced formation could mitigate risks without stifling their offensive prowess. Conversely, Rangers’ challenge lies in managing the game’s tempo, leveraging their strength in set-pieces, and exploiting Benfica’s momentary lapses in defence.

Managerial Acumen: Schmidt vs Clement

Rodger Schmidt’s aggressive offensive strategy has been a double-edged sword, producing thrilling football but at the cost of defensive solidity. His ability to adapt and address these concerns will be crucial. Philippe Clement’s tenure at Rangers has been marked by resilience and adaptability, traits that will be tested in the hostile environment of the Estadio da Luz.

Critique falls on Schmidt, whose reluctance to adjust tactics in the face of defensive frailties has drawn scrutiny. His steadfast approach, while admirable, demands flexibility to navigate the multifaceted challenges of European football.

Expected Lineups and Impact Players

Benfica’s Expected Lineup: Trubin; Aursnes, A. Silva, Otamendi, Morato; Neves, Luis; Di Maria, R. Silva; Mario; Cabral.

Rangers’ Expected Lineup: Butland; Tavernier, Goldson, Souttar, Barisic; Lundstram, Raskin; Wright, Diomande, Lawrence; Dessers.

Benfica’s composition underscores their attacking intent, with Ángel Di María and Rafa Silva pivotal in creating chances. Rangers, boasting the leadership of James Tavernier and the attacking flair of Ryan Kent, will look to unsettle Benfica’s backline.

Predictions and Rationales

Both Teams to Score (BTTS)

The nature of both teams’ recent performances strongly suggests that a Both Teams to Score outcome is plausible. Benfica’s attacking vigour, spearheaded by the likes of Ángel Di María and Rafa Silva, is well-documented, making them a constant threat upfront. However, their defensive lapses, as exposed in the heavy defeat to Porto, indicate vulnerabilities that can be exploited.

Rangers, under Philippe Clement, have shown they possess the attacking quality to trouble teams across Europe, evidenced by their scoring consistency. Given Rangers’ ability to find the net away from home and Benfica’s scoring prowess coupled with defensive fragility, it is logical to anticipate goals at both ends.

Correct Score Prediction: Benfica 2-1 Rangers

A 2-1 win for Benfica encapsulates the expected dynamic of this match. Benfica’s robust home record in the Europa League, where they have yet to taste defeat, gives them an edge. Despite recent domestic struggles, the Eagles have the quality and depth to bounce back, especially in European competitions.

Rangers, while resilient, may find the cauldron of the Estadio da Luz a challenging environment to navigate. This prediction leans on Benfica’s attacking efficiency and their capacity to exploit their home advantage, notwithstanding Rangers’ potential to keep the contest closely fought until the final whistle.

Goalscorer Prediction: Ángel Di María to Score Anytime

Ángel Di María stands out as a likely candidate to score at any point in the match. His exceptional ability to manoeuvre in tight spaces, combined with a proven track record of delivering in crucial moments, makes him a significant threat.

Di María’s experience at the highest levels of European football equips him with the nous to exploit any defensive weaknesses Rangers may exhibit. Considering Benfica’s offensive style of play under Rodger Schmidt and Di María’s role as a pivotal figure in their attack, it’s rational to expect him to be among the goalscorers.

Team to Score First: Benfica

Benfica, with their historical tendency to start strongly in home European fixtures, are favoured to score the opening goal. Their impressive unbeaten home record in the Europa League is a testament to their ability to assert dominance early in matches.

The combination of an eager home crowd and the team’s attacking setup is likely to fuel an aggressive start, putting Rangers under immediate pressure. Given Rangers’ defensive concerns and Benfica’s need to make a strong statement after their domestic setback, the Portuguese giants are poised to take the initiative and find the net first.

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Herrin Kendrick
Herrin Kendrick is a sports journalist with 10 years of experience in the sports betting industry. His work has been referenced by many sports publications over the years. Sport passionate.