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Remind me next time

Steven Gerrard’s Rangers are unbeaten in 18 matches in all competitions this season. The Glasgow side are playing unbelievable football, gaining results. Shades of Rangers from old are being seen around Ibrox and on Thursday night, Gerrard takes the team to Portugal to face off with Benfica.

Ranger are on a nine-game winning streak in all competitions. They are quietly having an excellent first half of the season in Scotland and the Europa League. Defence has been Rangers’ calling card in 2020-21. Seven of their last nine games ended in wins to nil.

Benfica aim to upend the Scottish giants and go into the game second in the Portuguese Liga NOS after six games. Confidence is not high in Lisbon heading into the game, however, as Benfica are coming off of a 3-0 loss to league rival Bovista. It was a shock result for the Eagles.

The loss, which saw Benfica concede two goals in the first half, ended a seven-game winning streak in all competitions. Manager Jorge Jesus will expect his team to turn around their form and claim all three points against Rangers. 

Benfica vs Rangers Betting Odds

Benfica and Rangers are atop of Europa League Group D. The two sides are level on six points apiece from six possible. Benfica kicked off the Europa League with a win against Lech Poznan 4-2 on matchday 1. Their matchday 2 win versus Standard Liege was an impressive 3-0 victory. All three goals came in the second half and two of them came from the penalty spot.

Rangers defeated Standard Liege on matchday 1 with goals on in both halves. They won 2-0 versus the Belgians. Rangers followed up the matchday 1 victory with a narrow 1-0 win versus Lech Poznan. The Blues have kept two clean sheets in the Europa League. Fifteen of their 18 matches in all competitions finished in clean sheets. They have been brilliant defensively.

Gerrard’s team are currently nine points ahead of Celtic in the Scottish Premiership. Celtic do have two games in hand; however, Gerrard has finally got Rangers back to pinnacle of Scottish football. Thursday night’s game will be the first of two back-to-back Europa League games versus Benfica.

The two teams are likeliest to make it into the knockout rounds. The team that wins Thursday night’s game in Lisbon will have a direct effect on which side progresses to the knockout stage.

Benfica vs Rangers Team News

Gerrard has just one injury issue heading into the game on Thursday night. Defender Nikola Katic is out until January with an ACL injury. Even without Katic in defence, Rangers are playing well, keeping opponents out of goal. Rangers won at the weekend versus Kilmarnock thanks to a first-half penalty from James Tavernier.

Rangers have a remarkably low goals conceded number. Just four times have Rangers allowed opponents to score goals. They average just 0.22 goals against per game while scoring 2.39 goals per game. Tavernier leads Rangers in goals with 10 in all competitions and striker Alfredo Morales has six in all competitions.

Jorge Jesus has three players suffering from injuries at Benfica. Defender Jean-Clair Todibo is out of action due to an Achilles tendon issue. Jesus is without Alejandro Grimaldo and Andre Almedia due to their respective injuries. Grimaldo has an ankle injury and is likely to return after the November international break. Meanwhile, Almeida has a knee problem and is set to return around the end of the month.

German Gian-Luca Waldschmidt leads the team in goals with five in all competitions. His signing from Freiburg in the summer has improved Benfica’s attack. Waldschmidt scored a penalty on Europa League matchday 2 against Standard Liege.

Benfica vs Rangers Prediction

Both teams to score - NO - BET NOW

Rangers’ defence has been immense this season. The Glasgow giants have conceded just four times this season. Their organisation and defensive resolve will keep Benfica’s quality chances low. Rangers kept back-to-back wins to nil in the Europa League, and seven of their last nine games in all competitions finished in wins to nil. Can Rangers score against Benfica? They is the big question.

Halftime result: Draw - BET NOW

On Europa League matchday 2, Benfica’s three goals against Standard Liege were scored in the second half. Rangers’ game against Lech Poznan saw the Glasgow team tally their lone goal in the 68th minute of the game. The first half of Thursday night’s game should see these teams feel each other out. If goals do come, they may not come until the second period. Benfica average minute for scoring a goal is the 51st minute. Rangers average minute for scoring a goal is the 46th minute of games.

Under 2.5 goals scored - BET NOW

Do not expect this game to be a high-scoring affair. If goals begin to be scored, then expect Benfica to run away with game. However, with Rangers’ incredible goals conceded record of just four in 18 matches, matchday 3 should see under 2.5 goals scored between the clubs.

Ten of Rangers’ 18 games in all competitions finished with under 2.5 goals scored. Six straight Rangers games ended with under 2.5 goals. All six of those games finished in wins to nil for Rangers. Just two of Benfica’s nine games in all competitions finished with under 2.5 goals scored. The Eagles have seen some high-scoring games, but they have not played a defence quite like Rangers’ rearguard this term.

Rangers’ 18-match unbeaten run is on the line this week. They have back-to-back games against Benfica and claiming a win or draw on Thursday night would put Rangers in a could position to top the group. Benfica are +5 in goal difference, which is +2 goals better than Rangers heading into the game

Benfica are coming off of a humiliating loss to Bovista, 3-0. While they should be better on Thursday night, they will struggle to break down Rangers. Expect under 2.5 goals in a low-scoring affair in Lisbon.

Benfica vs Rangers Betting Tips