Benfica vs. Rangers – Europa League, November 5, 2020
Rangers will be looking to extend their phenomenal 18-game unbeaten streak when they face Benfica in the Europa League on Thursday, November 5.
The two teams sit joint-top in Group D, six points clear of stragglers Lech Poznan and Standard Liege, while a win for either side would all but guarantee them a spot in the knockout stages.
If you’re planning to wager on this Europa League clash, why not check out my Benfica vs. Rangers prediction and betting pick below?
Benfica vs. Rangers Odds
With the home advantage, Benfica (1.86) is the favorite to win this game. However, the high price for the home win suggests that Rangers (4.05) will pose the Portuguese side some problems.
Steven Gerrard’s men have been in formidable form both home and away this season, so the odds for the draw (3.55) stand out to me.
Previewing the Match
Benfica won their opening five domestic games with ease this term, but their unbeaten start to the campaign was brought to an abrupt end on Monday. Despite enjoying 70% possession, the Eagles only managed two shots on target against Boavistia and eventually lost 3-0.
Still, Jorge Jesus’ side remains second in the Portuguese top-flight and only sits one point behind frontrunner Sporting. But after making such a promising start, Benfica collapsed in dramatic fashion last time out.
The Eagles have been ruthless in the Europa League so far. Following a 4-2 thrashing of Lech Poznan on Matchday 1, Jesus’ men claimed a comfortable 3-0 victory over Standard Liege last week, with Pizzi netting an impressive brace.
Benfica has found life relatively easy on the European stage this season, but the visit of Rangers will undoubtedly be a big test.
Not only have Rangers gone unbeaten in their opening 18 games in all competitions this term, they also head into Thursday’s clash on the back of six straight clean sheets. In fact, Gerrard’s men have achieved a remarkable 15 shutouts in 2020/21, conceding just three goals along the way.
The Gers’ outstanding run has enabled them to open up a nine-point lead over Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership. Granted, Celtic has two games in hand over Rangers. But it’s safe to say the blue half of Glasgow has a massive advantage in the title race.
It is no secret that the team has been extremely solid defensively, but the attacking players must also be given huge credit for their efforts. Kemar Roofe scored a spectacular long-range strike as Rangers beat Standard Liege 2-0 on Matchday 1, before Alfredo Morelos handed his side a 1-0 win over Lech Poznan last week.
It’s safe to say that Rangers could not have dreamed of a better start to the season.
Benfica vs. Rangers Pick
There is a sense that Rangers are slightly overachieving this season, although you can take nothing away from Gerrard’s team right now. The relentless Gers have been unstoppable in 2020/21, and I can see them getting something from Thursday’s game.
Benfica has also been playing well this season, but Monday’s heavy defeat exposed the team’s weaknesses. The Portuguese side is the deserved favorite to win this matchup, but I’m backing Rangers to extend their unbeaten run by earning a draw on Matchday 3.