All eyes will be on Estadio da Luz when Benfica and Rangers face each other in the Europa League derby.
Portuguese giants Benfica welcome Scottish giants Rangers to the Estádio da Luz on Thursday evening, for a UEFA Europa League clash, with both sides having started with two wins in the first two Group D matches of the season.
Despite currently topping their group in the Europa League, Benfica suffered their first league defeat of the season on Monday, with the Portuguese giants keen to bounce back as they host Rangers on Thursday evening.
Benfica have had a great start to the season, but they were brought crashing down to earth over the weekend, as they lost 3-0 to Boavista in the Portuguese league, in a poor performance.
In terms of the Europa League alone, Benfica have looked terrific in the first two games. In their first match, they beat Lech Poznan 4-2.
Rangers, meanwhile, have continued on this incredible defensive run, that has seen them concede just three goals in the league all season. They have not yet conceded a goal in the Europa League, with their last two games being a 2-0 win against Standard Liege in Belgium, and a 1-0 home win over Lech Poznan.
Reason for Benfica vs Rangers Predictions:
- Benfica won seven of their last eight matches, and each of their last four home games.
- Benfica kept a clean sheet in three of their first four home matches this term.
- Benfica lost just one UEL home game since December 2008.
- Benfica have hosted Scottish opponents five times, winning each of them.
- Rangers are unbeaten in 11 matches against Portuguese sides, winning the past three.
This will be the first meeting between Rangers and Benfica in European competition, but both teams do have impressive records against teams from the respective nations.
Rangers are unbeaten in 11 games against Portuguese opposition, while Benfica have won five against Scottish sides.
Their run in the Europa League during the 2020-21 campaign has been positive so far. Rangers, on the other hand, currently occupy second place – with just goal difference separating the two teams in the group.
If Rangers win on Thursday night, they will prevent Benfica from becoming the first side to go 24 matches unbeaten in the history of the UEFA Cup and Europa League, having matched Zenit St Petersburg’s record last week.
Despite Benfica’s lofty European pedigree, few teams boast a defensive record as mean as Rangers this season.
We fancy this to be a close game that would end in a draw.
Our Prediction: Benfica 1-1 Rangers