HomeEuropa LeagueRangers v Benfica: Preview, expected line-ups, how to watch and prediction

Rangers v Benfica: Preview, expected line-ups, how to watch and prediction

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The State of Play

Philippe Clement has performed very impressively in charge of Rangers as they eye up yet another famous night on the continent. The ‘Gers come into this one on the back of defeating Hibernian 2-0 in the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup at the weekend. They were pegged back twice in Lisbon last week with the first leg of this Europa League round of 16 tie finishing 2-2. They will be keen not to let the Portuguese giants off the hook at Ibrox.

Benfica and their manager Roger Schmidt are under huge pressure down in Portugal with their grasp on the league title slipping to city rivals Sporting CP and some generally really underwhelming performances across all competitions. They eventually managed to fend off a struggling Estoril side by three goals to one at the Estadio da Luz at the weekend but it was, once again, far from convincing.

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Team News

Rangers are dealing with a few injury issues for this week’s visit of Benfica. Key attacking midfielder Kieran Dowell and Todd Cantwell are both absent as well as forward, Abdallah Sima. Oscar Cortes and Danilo will both be absent, too.

Benfica only have one issue for this week but it has been in an area that has caused them a few issues in the last month or so as former Paris Saint-Germain defender Juan Bernat is unavailable for Roger Schmidt’s men.

Expected Line-ups

Rangers: Butland; Tavernier, Goldson, Souttar, Yilmaz; Diomande, Lundstram; Sterling, Lawrence, Fabio Silva; Dessers

Benfica: Trubin; Bah, A. Silva, Otamendi, Aursnes; Joao Neves; Florentino Luis; David Neres, Rafa Silva, Di Maria; Arthur Cabral

What they Said

Philippe Clement is confident his Rangers side will be able to re-create the similar level of performance that saw them draw last week when he said his team ‘nearly created history’ in the Portuguese capital.

Under-fire Roger Schmidt has shrugged off calls for him to resign this week. After a ban from Benfica was unveiled that read ‘thank you and goodbye’ in German, aimed at Schmidt, he responded with: “To be honest, I didn’t notice the banner. I won’t comment on what I don’t observe. In our situation, only a win at Rangers will do.”

When and How to Watch

This match will be played at Ibrox at 17:45 on Thursday March 14th and will shown live on TNT Sports in the UK and will also be able to be streamed live via the TNT Sports app.

Prediction

Rangers were oh so close to getting the job done and over the line in the Portuguese capital last week and they will be confident of causing several issues to their fragile and under pressure counterparts. Benfica have undoubted quality with Angel Di Maria still performing to a high level but like they did back in 2022, Rangers will make Ibrox a fierce fortress for opposition teams to go and siding with them in what would appear set to be another entertaining affair would seem a good bet.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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