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Benfica v Rangers: Tips, Predictions and Odds

A thrilling 3-2 victory away at Real Betis in their final Europa League group assignment helped Rangers claim top spot in Group C, but they’ve been dealt a tough hand in the round of 16 against Benfica.

The Portuguese hosts were far from disgraced in the Champions League group stages, taking four points from six matches with Real Sociedad, Inter Milan and Salzburg, while they took care of Toulouse in the play-off round of this competition.

Neither side are currently performing at their best but home advantage is often key in European competition and Benfica have been pretty irresistible at their Lisbon fortress this season.

Roger Schmidt’s side are 11/20 to claim a first-leg lead with Rangers 5/1 to spring a surprise and seize the initiative ahead of the return fixture in Glasgow.

The draw, meanwhile, is 16/5 and that was the outcome both home and away when these two met in the Europa League group stages in the 2020/21 campaign.

Benfica v Rangers

Benfica v Rangers betting tips and predictions

Benfica to win & over 2.5 goals - 5/4

Benfica come into this last-16 tie following back-to-back defeats, having lost 2-1 away at fierce rivals Sporting in the opening leg of their Taca de Portugal semi-final showdown before a 5-0 humbling at Porto.

However, Benfica remain second in the Primeira Liga title race, only one point behind Sporting at the top, and are much happier when armed with home advantage.

The Eagles are unbeaten in 15 matches at the Estadio da Luz and they were 2-1 winners when hosting Toulouse in the play-off round, a match in which they won the shot count 27 to six.

In the Champions League this season Benfica held Inter to a 3-3 draw on home soil and they should fancy their chances in this meeting with Rangers, who also head into this on the back of a defeat after Saturday’s 2-1 reverse to Motherwell.

That came quickly on the heels of a hard-fought 2-1 win away at Kilmarnock, who had led at half-time, and while Philippe Clement’s side do sit top of the Scottish Premiership table, those recent performances aren’t too inspiring.

In the group stages of this competition, Rangers lost 2-1 at Aris Limassol and were held to a goalless draw at Sparta Prague, with neither of those teams boasting Benfica’s European pedigree.

So Benfica should have the chances required to record a first-leg success and, given nine of their last 12 home matches have featured at least three goals, it should be an entertaining affair.

Both teams have scored in 10 of Benfica’s last 15 home outings so, while Rangers have scoring prospects, backing the hosts to win and over 2.5 goals looks the safest play at 5/4.

Angel Di Maria to score at anytime - 21/10

Angel Di Maria’s return to the club where he initially made a name for himself is paying dividends and the 36-year-old looks a nice price at 21/10 to get on the scoresheet against Rangers.

Di Maria, who has played for the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus in a glittering career, is enjoying somewhat of a resurgence with Benfica and has grabbed 11 goals in 28 appearances this season.

The Argentinian veteran evidently still has plenty to offer and seven of his 11 goals have come at the Estadio da Luz, which includes two penalties in the 2-1 victory over Toulouse in the previous round of this competition.

Being on spot-kick duty only enhances Di Maria’s scoring prospects while he is also well known to frequently let rip from distance.

Nicolas Otamendi to be booked- 11/5

This could be a fiery encounter given what is at stake and the teams involved and Benfica defender Nicolas Otamendi looks a likely card candidate.

Otamendi has been notoriously known as being a bit of a hot head during his career and he has been booked nine times in 37 appearances for club and country this season.

The 36-year-old was sent off in Benfica’s latest 5-0 hiding at Porto and will be suspended for their next league game, so should be a starter in this European encounter and is a fair price at 11/5 to be cautioned again.

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Benfica v Rangers odds

Benfica – 11/20
Draw –
Rangers  –

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This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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