The Gers are now 11 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership, and have the opportunity to take a significant step towards sealing their spot in the Europa League knockout stages in Thursday evening’s clash against Benfica.
Both sides are unbeaten in the competition this term having won their opening two matches and playing out a dramatic 3-3 draw in Portugal earlier this month.
Who: Rangers v Benfica
What: UEFA Europa League – Group D
Where: Ibrox, Glasgow
When: 8pm, Thursday November 26th
How to watch
As usual, BT Sport will be broadcasting the Gers’ latest European outing.
The match will be shown on BT Sport 3, with coverage beginning at the end of Celtic’s tie with Sparta Prague. That game kicks off at 5.55pm.
Alternatively, Rangers TV will be offering audio coverage via their subscription packages.
Who to watch
Benfica have a star-studded cast of characters, and Rangers will be coming up against more than a few dazzling talents on Thursday evening.
Rafa Silva got himself on the scoresheet last time the two sides met earlier this month, while attacking midfielder Pizzi poses a constant threat.
With Darwin Nunez set to miss out on the clash due to a positive Covid-19 test, Haris Seferovic could be the one to watch out for up front, while followers of the English Premier League will recognise Jan Vertonghen.
Former Manchester City defender Nicolas Otamendi is suspended.
Since scraping a 3-3 draw against the Gers on home soil three weeks ago, it’s been a fairly underwhelming spell for Benfica.
The Portuguese side slumped to a 3-2 defeat against fellow title challengers SC Braga in the league, and had to rely on a single goal to edge their way past second division Paredes in the cup.
Things were hardly much better prior to their clash against Rangers either, with the Lisbon club suffering a 3-0 defeat to struggling Boavista at the start of the month.
Prior to their meeting earlier this month, Rangers had never played Benfica in a competitive match before, but they have enjoyed good success against Portuguese sides in the recent past.
The Gers beat both SC Braga and FC Porto in last year’s Europa League, with Ianis Hagi inspiring a famous 3-2 comeback against the former.
Overall, the Glaswegian club have won 10 of their 19 meetings against Portuguese clubs, drawing six more, and losing on just three occasions.
Their last loss to a Portuguese team came in the UEFA Cup first round against CS Maritimo in 2004. Since then, the Gers have gone on an unbeaten run of 12 matches against opposition from the Iberian nation.
For their part, Benfica have plenty of experience against Glasgwegian opposition. Despite having never played Rangers before this month, the Lisbon club have met Celtic on eight occasions, winning four and drawing one.
Their last meeting against the Hoops came in 2012, when they recorded a 2-1 home win in the Champions League group stage.