Thursday, May 23, 2024

Benfica vs Rangers predictions: Europa League tips and odds

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Our betting expert has three Benfica vs Rangers tips for Thursday’s Europa League round-of-16, first leg at the Estadio da Luz (kick-off, 8pm GMT). Scroll down for the analysis behind his selections.

Benfica vs Rangers betting tips

Odds correct at time of publishing and subject to change.

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Blues beckon for Benfica again

Benfica owe their fans a win after back-to-back losses away to bitter rivals Sporting Lisbon and Porto, but there is little appetite to back them at a cramped price at home to Rangers.

The Eagles were beaten 2-1 at Sporting in the Portuguese Cup last week, but that was merely an appetiser for their 5-0 drubbing at Porto in the league at the weekend.

That result knocked them off the top of the table and forced club president and legend Rui Costa into making the grovelling apology that head coach Roger Schmidt had refused to offer after the defeat.

The vultures are circling for the Eagles head coach and the Scottish Premiership leaders can profit from a difficult time at the Estadio da Luz by returning to Glasgow with a draw.

Rangers obviously travel south on the back of their own setback, the 2-1 home loss to Motherwell, although they still head the table by two points.

They have won five in a row on their travels and at the end of last year drew 0-0 at Sparta Prague and then won 3-2 at Real Betis in the group stage.

Benfica needed a 98th-minute penalty from old warhorse Angel Di Maria to beat Toulouse 2-1 in the home leg in the previous round, so Rangers have little to fear against a side who have the reputation and pedigree but lack the form figures.

Benfica vs Rangers tip 1: Draw @ 3/1 with CopyBet

Cautions can pay in Lisbon

Toulouse’s 2-1 loss at the Estadio da Luz was a fractious affair with the French side picking up seven yellow cards and a red.

Given the pressure Benfica will apply – and the pressure German referee Tobias Stieler will be under – expect Rangers to pick up their share of cautions.

In Stieler’s previous European match – Marseille’s 3-1 win over Shakhtar Donetsk in this competition – he produced six yellow cards.

Benfica have collected 11 yellow cards in eight European matches this season; Rangers 15 in six. Take Rangers at -1 on the yellow cards handicap at 11/8.

Benfica vs Rangers tip 2: Rangers -1 total yellow cards handicap @ 11/8 with CopyBet

Low corner count on cards

Philippe Clement’s side will be looking to take the sting out of this tie and are better defensively than they have been for years.

Benfica will do all the pushing but a high corner count is not guaranteed. Indeed, backing under 9.5 corners at 27/20, which is an attractive price, could be the way to go.

The Gers are averaging five per match in the Europa League but that was in the group stage. An away tie at Benfica promises limited forays into opposition territory.

As for Benfica, across eight games in Europe this term they are averaging 4.1 corners per game, so there is nothing to suggest a corners landslide is in the offing.

Benfica vs Rangers tip 3: Under 9.5 corners @ 27/20 with CopyBet

Benfica vs Rangers odds

Odds are correct at the time of publication and subject to change.

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