Preview: Rangers vs. Servette – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday’s Champions League clash between Rangers and Servette, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Rangers welcome Swiss club Servette to Ibrox on Wednesday as both sides aim to notch a first-leg advantage in the third round of Champions League qualifying.

The hosts suffered a surprise defeat to Kilmarnock in their opening match of the campaign, while the visitors have made an unbeaten start to the 2023-24 season.

Match preview

Rangers manager Michael Beale before the match on May 13, 2023© Reuters

Rangers lost just four of their 38 Scottish Premiership matches last season, picking up 29 wins and five draws along the way, but Michael Beale‘s men have already suffered their first defeat of the new campaign.

Despite racking up 18 shots while enjoying the lion’s share of possession at Rugby Park, the Gers suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Kilmarnock on Saturday, with Brad Lyons scoring the game’s only goal midway through the second half.

It is also worth noting that Rangers experienced an indifferent pre-season, recording one win, one draw and two losses in July, with a 2-1 defeat against Newcastle United preceding a 2-1 victory over German side Hamburger SV.

Following a 3-1 loss to Greek giants Olympiacos, the Gers ended their pre-season preparations with a 2-2 draw against German club Hoffenheim, but Saturday’s defeat means that Beale’s side are already on the back foot in the race for the Premiership title.

Rangers were humiliated in the Champions League last term, suffering home-and-away defeats against Liverpool, Napoli and Ajax to finish rock bottom of Group A with a goal difference of -20, so Beale’s men will be determined to make amends this season.

Rangers' James Tavernier looks dejected after the match on April 30, 2023© Reuters

While Rangers have entered Champions League qualifying in the third round after finishing second in the Scottish Premiership last season, Servette have already come through a tough two-legged showdown with Belgian club Genk to reach this stage.

Following a 1-1 draw in the first leg, ten-man Servette managed to hold Genk to a 2-2 draw in the second leg, despite Enzo Crivelli‘s fifth-minute red card, with the Swiss side eventually triumphing 4-1 on penalties to reach the next round.

Remarkably, Servette registered four shots on target while seeing just 26% possession in Belgium, while Genk racked up a whopping 33 attempts, but Rene Weiler‘s men managed to advance against all the odds.

Les Grenats have also made an impressive start to their domestic campaign, recording one win and two draws since the start of the season, meaning that Servette have avoided defeat in each of their five matches in 2023-24.

The Geneva outfit snatched a last-gasp 1-1 draw against Stade Lausanne-Ouchy on Saturday, courtesy of Patrick Pflucke‘s 96th-minute equaliser, so Weiler’s men will be eager to maintain momentum when they visit Glasgow.

Rangers form (all competitions):

Servette Champions League form:

Servette form (all competitions):

Team News

Rangers' James Tavernier celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on April 8, 2023© Reuters

Rangers are still without long-term absentees Nnamdi Ofoborh (heart) and Steven Davis (ACL), with the latter’s last appearance coming back in December 2022.

Michael Beale handed competitive debuts to five new signings on Saturday, with Brighton & Hove Albion loanee Abdallah Sima joining Cyriel Dessers and Sam Lammers in the forward line.

Elsewhere, former Everton and Norwich City midfielder Kieran Dowell featured in a 4-3-3 formation, while goalkeeper Jack Butland made his competitive Gers debut after joining from Crystal Palace.

On the flip side, Servette’s lengthy injury list contains Theo Magnin, Miroslav Stevanovic, Alexis Antunes, Keigo Tsunemoto, Alexnder Lyng and Jeremy Frick.

The visitors will also be without suspended striker Enzo Crivelli on Tuesday following his red card against Genk, meaning that Chris Bedia will likely partner Jeremy Guillemenot in a 4-4-2 formation.

Rangers possible starting lineup:
Butland; Tavernier, Goldson, Souttar, Barisic; Lundstram, Raskin, Dowell; Lammers, Dessers, Sima

Servette possible starting lineup:
Mall; Vouilloz, Rouiller, Severin, Baron; Touati, Ondoua, Douline, Kutesa; Guillemenot, Bedia

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We say: Rangers 1-1 Servette

After suffering a shock defeat on the opening weekend of the Scottish Premiership season, Rangers will be determined to pick up a positive result on Tuesday.

However, the hosts could struggle to claim all three points as Servette bid to extend their unbeaten start to the campaign, so we expect the first leg to end all square.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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