Rangers vs BenficaUEFA Europa League, KO: 20:00 Nov 26, 2020, Ibrox
THERE haven't been many disappointments for Rangers so far this season but throwing away a two-goal lead to 10-man Benfica at the Stadium of Light is one of them.
So Steven Gerrard's in-form side will be out to make amends with a victory when the Portuguese giants come calling as they bid to book a spot in the Europa League knockout stages.
It's a huge campaign domestically for Rangers and they could hardly have made a better start, with a 4-0 weekend thrashing of Aberdeen opening up an 11-point lead over Celtic at the top of the Premiership.
Things have been going just as well in Europe, with victories over Standard Liege and Lech Poznan followed up by a draw in Lisbon that really should have been another victory.
I thought that game might be tight but Nicolas Otamendi's first-half red card changed everything and Gers looked home and dry when they came from 1-0 down to lead 3-1.
However, Gerrard's side conceded twice in the last 13 minutes to throw two points away and must now show they can live with a Benfica side who have 11 men on the pitch.
The Portuguese giants are in poor form, with that draw against Rangers part of a three-game run without a victory before they edged past minnows Paredes 1-0 in the Cup at the weekend.
Jorge Jesus fielded a shadow side for that cup tie as he rested his stars but will be without a host of players at Ibrox due to injury and other issues.
How the bookies view it
Rangers are 11/10 for a win at McBookie which looks good value as they have won every game at home so far this season while Benfica are 5/2. Don't rule out another stalemate which pays 13/5 at BetVictor.
Benfica are missing several big hitters with Adel Taarabt joining Julian Weigl and Darwin Nunez in self-isolating. Nuno Taveres, Andre Almeida, Jean-Clair Todibo and Pedrinho are also injured while Otamendi is suspended but David Tavares and Mile Svilar could return.
Nikola Katic and Bongani Zungu miss out for Gers while Ryan Jack is an injury doubt. George Edmundson, Jordan Jones and Jermain Defoe are not part of the European squad.
Players to watch
Alfredo Morelos broke Rangers' European scoring record when he netted in Lisbon and seems to come alive on the big stage. He's 6/4 with BetVictor for anytime scorer and that seems pretty good value.
The loss of Nunez is a big blow for Benfica after he scored their late leveller against Gers last time. But Swiss striker Haris Seferovic is a more than able deputy and is 41/20 with 888Sport for a goal. He's also a whopping 14/1 with Skybet to score a header which is a good long-odds option.
Anything else catch the eye?
Rangers' home record this season is incredible, winning every game and only conceding once, to Galatasaray, in 10 matches. But Benfica are a step up in class so I fancy both teams to score here, which is 8/13 at McBookie.
I'd still be surprised if there was another goalfest so I like the look of the 13/10 on offer at BetVictor for under 2.5 match goals. SportNation are offering 7/5 on the score being level at half-time and that's good value as these teams are pretty evenly matched.
I fancied Ryan Jack for a card at 3/1 with Bet365 but he could miss out now with injury so instead I'm tipping midfield sidekick Glen Kamara at 9/2 with the same firm.
This UEFA Europa League match between Rangers and Benfica will be played on Nov 26, 2020 and kick off at 20:00. Check below for our tipsters best Rangers vs Benfica prediction.