Rangers will look to capitalize on home advantage as they host Servette in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. The hosts’ unexpected loss to Kilmarnock in the first game of the season. The visitors’ endured a perfect start to the 2023–24 campaign.
Preview (Rangers vs Servette)
Last season, Rangers played in 38 Scottish Premiership games and only lost four of them, winning 29 and drawing five. However, Michael Beale’s team has already lost one game this season. The Gers lost against Kilmarnock 1-0 on Saturday despite having the majority of the possession and taking 18 shots, with Brad Lyons scoring the game’s lone goal midway through the second half. It’s also important to remember that the Rangers had a lackluster preseason. They finished with one win, one draw, and two losses in July. A 2-1 loss to Newcastle United was followed by a 2-1 triumph over Hamburger SV in Germany.
The Gers finished their preseason training with a 2-2 draw against German club Hoffenheim after losing 3-1 to Greek powerhouse Olympiacos, but Beale’s team is already trailing in the Premiership title battle as a result of Saturday’s setback. Last season, Rangers were humiliated in the Champions League after losing both home and away to Liverpool, Napoli, and Ajax. As a result, Beale’s team finished last in Group A with a goal differential of -20. Rangers, who placed second in the Scottish Premiership last season, advanced to the third round of Champions League qualification, although Servette had previously overcome a challenging two-leg matchup with Belgian club Genk to get here.
Servette ultimately won 4-1 on penalties to advance to the next round. Incredibly, Genk made a staggering 33 attempts while Servette only had 26% of the possession in Belgium. Nevertheless, Rene Weiler’s team managed to win despite all the odds. As a result, Servette has won all five of its games this season (2023–24).
Nnamdi Ofoborh (heart) and Steven Davis (ACL), whose last appearance was in December 2022. Both are still out for the Rangers. On Saturday, Michael Beale gave competitive debuts to five newcomers. They included Cyriel Dessers, Sam Lammers, and Abdallah Sima, who is on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion.
In another 4-3-3 configuration, former Everton and Norwich City midfielder Kieran Dowell played, and goalkeeper Jack Butland, who joined from Crystal Palace, made his competitive Gers debut. Theo Magnin, Miroslav Stevanovic, Alexis Antunes, Keigo Tsunemoto, Alexnder Lyng, and Jeremy Frick are among Servette’s long list of injured players. Enzo Crivelli received a red card against Genk. The visitors will likely start Jeremy Guillemenot and Chris Bedia in a 4-4-2 configuration on Tuesday.
Rangers will be motivated to succeed on Tuesday after suffering a shocking loss on the first weekend of the Scottish Premiership season. We anticipate the first leg to be tied. We believe the hosts will find it difficult to earn all three points as Servette looks to extend their winning streak.
Rangers 1 – 1 Servette
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