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Benfica vs Rangers: Preview & Prediction

Benfica vs Rangers: Preview & Prediction

Benfica vs Rangers
UEFA Europa League
Round of 16
Thursday
7th March 2024
Estadio da Luz

The most comprehensive preview, detailed analysis and reliable predictions of the UEFA Europa League fixture between Benfica and Rangers.

Benfica vs Rangers: Preview

Benfica form analysis

Benfica’s recent form across Europe paints the picture of an attack-minded but defensively vulnerable side who create plenty of chances yet struggle for control. They were outclassed in a 3-1 defeat away to Real Sociedad in the Champions League on November 8th, outworked and ruthlessly exposed at the back despite Rafa’s consolation strike. Signs of their attacking strengths surfaced during a thrilling 3-3 home draw with Inter on November 30th however, where João Mário’s first half hat-trick put them 3-0 up before an astonishing Inter fightback. Their inability to defend leads was again evident in a 3-1 victory at Salzburg, racing into a 2-0 advantage before nearly letting it slip despite Arthur Cabral’s late clincher.

Benfica carried this open, chaotic form into the Europa League knockouts by twice squandering leads to draw 2-2 away to French side Toulouse on February 16th before a goalless second leg stalemate. Ultimately they needed Ángel Di María’s unerring finishing to progress 2-1 on aggregate. Overall the team boasts explosive individual talents like Rafa and João Mário going forward, yet lack the defensive cohesion or control to put games to bed comfortably. Addressing these concentration issues against elite outfits will prove vital if they are to challenge for Europa League glory.

Rangers form analysis

Rangers’ recent Europa League form highlights an unpredictable and inconsistent side struggling to build sustained momentum. They began their campaign with a disappointing 2-1 defeat away to Cypriot minnows Aris Limassol on October 5th, conceding early goals before Sima’s late strike proved a mere consolation. Rangers responded with an improved display to earn a hard-fought 0-0 draw away to Sparta Prague, but familiar defensive issues resurfaced in the reverse fixture as they squandered a 2-0 lead to win only 2-1 on November 10th. Away to Aris again on December 1st, Rangers once more threw away an advantage by drawing 1-1 despite McCausland’s leveler.

Their Jekyll and Hyde form continued on December 15th – initially surging 2-0 ahead away to Real Betis only to be quickly pegged back at 2-2 before Roofe’s late winner sealed a chaotic 3-2 triumph. Overall, Rangers remain plagued by an inability to defend comfortably or sustain control, undermining their threat from counter-attackers like Sima and Roofe. While capable of spectacular attacking displays, familiar concentration lapses have continually prevented building momentum under new manager Philippe Clement. Addressing these issues will prove crucial to mounting a serious Europa League challenge against likely round of 16 opponents Benfica.

Benfica vs Rangers: Prediction

Benfica to win @ 1.63 odds.

Over 3 goals @ 2.18 odds.

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