December 8, 2021

Rangers vs Benfica preview

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Team news and stats ahead of Rangers vs Benfica in the Europa League group stage on Thursday; kick-off 8pm.

Team news

Ryan Jack is a doubt for Rangers‘ Europa League clash with Benfica at Ibrox. The Scotland midfielder picked up a knock during Sunday’s 4-0 win over former employers Aberdeen and may have to sit out the clash with Jorge Jesus’ Eagles as Gers look to take another major step towards the last 32.

Ryan Kent celebrates after scoring for Rangers against Aberdeen
Image: Ryan Kent is a doubt for the visit of Benfica

Bongani Zungu will be missing for up to another 10 days after injuring his knee on South Africa duty. Jermain Defoe, Jordan Jones and George Edmundson are not part of Steven Gerrard’s European squad, while Nikola Katic is still out with his long-term knee injury.

Benfica may favour defender Leon Balogun over Filip Helander, while Nicolas Otamendi is suspended after his red card in this fixture in Portugal.

Midfielder Julian Weigl and forward Darwin Nunez miss the trip to Scotland with Covid, while Jean-Clair Todibo, Andre Almeida, Nuno Tavares and Pedrinho are all injured.

How to follow

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 22: Rangers' James Tavernier (centre) celebrates making it 4-0 with his teammates during a Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Aberdeen at Ibrox Stadium, on November 22, 2020, in Glasgow, Scotland (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group) 0:30
Former Aberdeen and Rangers defender Richard Foster says no team can stop Rangers at the moment

Follow Rangers vs Benfica with our dedicated live blog across Sky Sports’ digital platforms, plus analysis and reaction after full time.

Opta stats

Rangers beat Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership. 2:50
Highlights of the Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Aberdeen.

  • The 3-3 draw in Lisbon in the reverse fixture between Rangers and Benfica was the only previous meeting between these sides.
  • Benfica have failed to score in their last four away games against Scottish sides (D1 L3, all vs Celtic), with this their first such match since a goalless draw in September 2012.
  • Over the past three seasons, Rangers are unbeaten in all seven of their Europa League group stage home games (W4 D3), with the Gers keeping five clean sheets and shipping just two goals in those games.
  • Benfica have converted 26.3 per cent of their shots so far in the Europa League this season (10 goals from 38 shots), no side has a better conversion rate so far this term.
  • Rangers have faced fewer shots on target than any other side in the Europa League this term (two), though they conceded with both of them against Benfica last time out (also shipping an own goal).