Rangers vs Benfica Predictions

Rangers vs Benfica ahead of this Europa League clash. Rangers, after a 2-2 draw in Lisbon, host Benfica at Ibrox for the Europa League last-16 second leg, promising another thrilling encounter. Read on for our free Europa League predictions and betting tips.

Rangers
Benfica

Europa League | Round of 16 | 2nd Leg | Mar 14, 2024 at 5.45pm UK at Ibrox Stadium

Rangers vs Benfica Predictions

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A Clash of Titans: Rangers and Benfica’s High-Stakes Duel

Key Stats

– Rangers are unbeaten in their last nine Europa League home matches.

– Benfica have only won once in their last six visits to Scotland.

– The Gers have scored at least twice in 12 of their last 15 games at Ibrox.

As Rangers prepare to host Benfica at Ibrox for the eagerly anticipated second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Following a thrilling 2-2 draw in Lisbon, both teams are poised on the brink of history, each aiming to secure their place in the quarter-finals. This encounter is not just a test of skill but of mental fortitude, as past performances and current form suggest an epic clash filled with tactical nuance and individual brilliance.

Team Dynamics and Strategies

Rangers, under the guidance of Philippe Clement, have demonstrated resilience and a never-say-die attitude. Despite a setback against Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership, their recent victory over Hibernian showcased their capability to bounce back and maintain focus on European success. The Gers’ home record in the Europa League is formidable, having not tasted defeat in their last nine outings, a statistic that bodes well for the Scottish outfit.

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Benfica, on the other hand, have had their fair share of ups and downs. After a disheartening loss to Porto and a mixed start to their European campaign, the Eagles managed to steady the ship with a win against Estoril. Roger Schmidt’s men will be keen to leverage their last-16 Europa League pedigree and recent domestic form to challenge Rangers on their home turf.

Key Players and Expected Lineups

Rangers’ lineup sees a blend of experience and youthful exuberance, with notable mentions such as James Tavernier, whose contributions have been pivotal, and Rabbi Matondo, potentially starting due to Sterling’s fitness concerns. Benfica’s lineup, enriched by talents like Joao Neves and Angel di Maria, promises creativity and attacking threat, aiming to exploit any defensive lapses by the hosts.

Rangers Expected Lineup:
  • Butland; Tavernier, Goldson, Souttar, Yilmaz; Lundstram, Diomande; Matondo, Lawrence, Silva; Roofe
Benfica Expected Lineup:
  • Trubin; Bah, A. Silva, Otamendi, Aursnes; Neves, Luis; Neres, R. Silva; Di Maria; Leonardo

Analytical Insights and Opinions

The key battleground could well be the midfield, where the game’s rhythm and pace will be controlled. Neves for Benfica and Lundstram for Rangers are expected to be central figures, dictating play and disrupting the opposition’s flow. Additionally, the flanks will witness intriguing duels, with Tavernier’s forward runs and Matondo’s pace against Benfica’s defensive resolve.

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Criticism has been levelled at Benfica’s Schmidt for his tactical rigidity and inability to adapt in crucial moments, a point of contention that Rangers might exploit. Clement, despite his relatively positive reception, must ensure his team remains versatile and responsive to the dynamic nature of European football.

Predictions and Rationale

Best Bet: Draw and Both Teams to Score

Analysing the upcoming Rangers vs Benfica match, the combination of both teams’ offensive capabilities and recent defensive performances strongly suggests a draw where each side finds the back of the net is the most logical outcome.

The historical context of their encounters, characterised by high-scoring draws, and their performances in the first leg of this tie, further reinforce this prediction. This scenario reflects not just the teams’ ability to score, but also acknowledges the finely balanced nature of this contest, where both have demonstrated strengths that closely match their opponent’s.

Correct Score Prediction: Rangers 2-2 Benfica

This prediction is based on the attacking prowess Rangers have shown at Ibrox, combined with Benfica’s proven ability to score under pressure, as evidenced in their resilient performance in the first leg.

The intensity and atmosphere of a European knockout match, along with the significance of progressing to the next round, are likely to create a highly competitive environment conducive to goals. A 2-2 draw reflects a contest where both teams express their attacking qualities, yet neither manages to secure a decisive advantage, mirroring the evenly matched nature of their previous encounter.

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Goalscorer Prediction: Angel di Maria

Angel di Maria emerges as a key figure for Benfica, given his history of impactful performances in crucial matches and his technical excellence. His knack for finding space and delivering in critical moments positions him as a significant threat to the Rangers defence.

Di Maria’s experience and composure in European competitions make him a strong candidate to score, especially considering Rangers’ defensive challenges. His ability to exploit any lapse in concentration or positioning by the opposition enhances the likelihood of him scoring during the match.

Corner Prediction: Rangers to Win More Corners; Total Corners: Over 9.5

Rangers’ offensive strategy, especially in the context of a home European fixture, typically results in a considerable number of corners. Their tactical approach, which emphasises width and frequent crosses, naturally leads to blocks and deflections by the defence, thus increasing corner counts.

Coupled with Benfica’s expected defensive posture away from home, it’s anticipated that Rangers will secure more corners. The prediction for over 9.5 total corners in the match reflects an anticipated dynamic and attacking display from both sides, with Rangers likely pushing harder in wide areas, leading to a higher overall corner count.

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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.