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Rangers v Benfica: Predictions, Tips and Odds

Rangers and Benfica shared a pulsating 2-2 first-leg draw in Lisbon and the goals should continue to flow in Thursday's return leg at Ibrox.

The visitors produced an excellent performance in Lisbon, taking the lead twice before their hosts fought back to earn a draw and the Gers should be inspired by the Ibrox atmosphere for Thursday's return leg.

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Rangers v Benfica betting predictions

Over 3.5 goals - 13/8

Tom Lawrence gave Rangers the perfect start to the tie with a seventh-minute goal in Lisbon, where there was a frenetic end to the first half.

Angel Di Maria equalised from the penalty spot in the second minute of added time but Dujon Sterling restored the Gers' lead three minutes later before a Connor Goldson own goal made it 2-2 in the 67th minute.

These teams have met three times in European competitions, sharing two 2-2 draws and one 3-3 scoreline, and Thursday's clash should be another entertaining encounter.

Benfica racked up 24 attempts at goal in the first leg, stunned by falling behind twice to their unheralded visitors.

But Rangers mustered five shots on target, the same number as their hosts, and both teams are capable of contributing to the goal tally at Ibrox.

The Gers can take heart from Benfica's recent defensive record as Roger Schmidt's side have conceded 10 goals in their last four matches.

Their last two away trips in the Primeira Liga produced a 2-2 draw at Guimaraes and that 5-0 rout by Porto, while they also suffered a 2-1 cup defeat at Sporting on 29th February.

A bold approach could pay dividends for Rangers, who have won the League Cup, reached the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup and are leading the way in the Premiership title race.

However, their defence may struggle to contain a star-studded Benfica attacking unit including World Cup winner Di Maria and the impressive Rafa Silva and David Neres.

Over 3.5 goals has been a winning bet in six of Benfica's last nine matches in all competitions and that trend may well continue on their trip to Glasgow.

Rangers to score in first half - 1/1

Benfica's defensive issues have been detailed above and Rangers are capable of landing an early blow at Ibrox, just as they did in Lisbon.

The Gers look a tempting bet to score in the first half, something they managed twice in the first leg, as Benfica have conceded goals in the 22nd, seventh, 20th and ninth minutes of their last four games.

They let in the first goal in their first four Champions League group matches this season, including a 3-1 defeat away to Real Sociedad, who scored in the sixth, 11th and 21st minutes.

Rangers suffered a shock 2-1 loss to Motherwell in their last home Premiership match but they had found the net inside the first 10 minutes in their previous four games at Ibrox.

Connor Goldson to be first player booked - 9/1

Rangers centre-back Connor Goldson had a tough first leg as his avoidable own goal gave Benfica their second equaliser of the night.

That was the third time Goldson has put through his own net in the Europa League and he also looks a likely card candidate in the return fixture at Ibrox.

Benfica have a host of dangerous attacking options and Goldson, booked seven times in 26 Premiership appearances this season, is up against a higher calibre of forward than he faces in the Scottish top-flight.

He has been cautioned in three of his six Europa League appearances this term, against Real Betis at Ibrox and in both group games against Sparta Prague, and is worth chancing to be shown the first card on Thursday.

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Rangers v Benfica Odds

Rangers – 9/5
Draw – 11/4
Benfica – 11/8

View the full market and more odds for Rangers v Benfica on site.

Read Rangers v Benfica how to watch, TV channel, head-to-head stats, team news and more on site

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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