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Rangers Vs Benfica Tactical Preview: Team News, Predicted XI, Talking Tactics And Key Men

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Premiership giants Rangers will be looking to take a massive stride towards qualification from the Europa League group stages when they welcome Portuguese heavyweights Benfica to the Ibrox Stadium this Thursday. The Gers are coming into this fixture in excellent form, having won their most recent league match by a comfortable 4-0 scoreline. In fact, Steven Gerrard’s side’s last two results ended with an aggregate score of 12-0, having beaten Hamilton 8-0 prior to the international break. Benfica, on the other hand, lost their last match before the break, after which they picked up only a narrow 1-0 win against Paredes in the cup.

Team News

Rangers

The Ibrox club have a completely full-strength roster to choose from, with the only absence coming in the form of Nikola Katic. The centre-half is yet to return to first-team training since the start of the current campaign, which means that even if he does return, it’ll be quite a while before he starts competing for a place in Gerrard’s eleven. Summer signing Bongani Zungu is likely to be in the squad for this fixture as well, with the entire team for the manager to choose from for this fixture.

Predicted XI: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Helander, Barisic, Jack, Kamara, Davis, Aribo, Roofe, Kent

Benfica

The Portuguese side’s squad situation is the polar opposite of Rangers, as they have up to nine players already ruled out of action. Adel Taarabt is the latest player to have been ruled out, having tested positive for the Coronavirus. Julian Weigl and David Nunez are both self isolating, which means they’re sure to play no part in this tie as well. Apart from, former Manchester City man Nicolas Otamendi has been suspended, while Jean-Clair Todibo, Nuno Taveres, Pedrinho, Andre Almeida are all unavailable for selection due to various niggles and injuries.

Predicted XI: Vlachodimos, Goncalves, Jardel, Vertonghen, Grimaldo, Pizzi, Pires, Samaris, Everton, Silva, Waldschmidt

Here Is The Rangers Vs Benfica Tactical Preview:

Rangers Vs Benfica Tactical Preview - Rangers celebrate
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – NOVEMBER 22: James Tavernier of Rangers(2L) celebrates after scoring their sides fourth goal from the penalty spot during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Aberdeen at Ibrox Stadium on November 22, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Rangers Vs Benfica Tactical Preview

Talking Tactics

Rangers

The Ibrox club have been in scintillating form for a number of weeks now, and unless Benfica put out all the stops, they are going to be dominated in the midfield area. With not one, but three of their usual midfield names out of contention for this tie, the onus will be on Kamara, Jack and Davis to ensure that they control the tempo of the game. The width that is offered by the charging Tavernier and Barisic will also be important to ensure that they are pegged back. Rangers have to ensure that they put the game to bed this time around, with the reverse fixture acting as a harsh reality check to their stellar defensive record.

Benfica

The Portuguese side are likely to take a much more conservative approach than usual in this clash, owing largely to the sheer number of players that they have unavailable for selection. With key names like Taarabt and Weigl not in contention to feature, Benfica are not going to try and take control of the midfield, and could instead choose to sit a little deeper than usual to try and get something out of this match. Considering the form that Rangers have been in defensively, and taking into account the manner in which they secured a draw last time, Gerrard’s back-line is surely not going to let them breeze through and score goals at will.

Key Men

Rangers

Although the likes of Ryan Kent and Joe Aribo are sure to have important parts to play, it must be conceded that Ryan Jack is the man who could decide what trend this match takes. If he’s able to take control of midfield early on, then there’s no reason Rangers couldn’t ease to a victory against their biggest challenge in the group.

Benfica

With nine players out, Benfica will be hoping that they can get a few chances here and there to shellshock Rangers. To that effect, the attacking presence of Luka Waldschmidt is sure to be of utmost importance. His movement and finishing abilities will have to come to the fore if they hope to get anything out of this match.

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