Infoinsport.com – In order to preserve or enlarge their slim one-goal advantage from the initial match, Rangers will be traveling to Geneva to face Servette, the renowned Swiss team, in the second leg of their Champions League third-round qualifier on Tuesday night.
Michael Beale’s side narrowly won a close match 2-1 at Ibrox last week, and the winner of this match will face either PSV Eindhoven or Sturm Graz for a spot in the group stage.
The obligatory penalty taken by James Tavernier propelled Rangers into the lead in the first leg against Servette, just six minutes into the game. Servette’s supporters must have been filled with fear when Cyriel Dessers scored a second goal for the hosts at the 15-minute mark.
However, Tavernier transitioned from being the hero in one penalty area to becoming the villain in his own, due to his handball that enabled Chris Bedia to score from 12 yards just before the halftime break. With a one-goal difference, it is not impossible for Servette to recover at the Stade de Geneve.
During the 2022-23 Swiss Super League campaign, Young Boys rode off into the sunset, securing the title and a spot in the Champions League playoff round. Meanwhile, Servette entered Europe’s top tournament at the second stage, narrowly beating Lugano, who were bound for the Europa League, by a mere point.
Les Grenats are still waiting for their first Champions League group-stage appearance since the tournament’s rebranding. They have also experienced unsuccessful qualifying periods in 1994 and 1999. Unfortunately, their current domestic streak does not provide much hope for making history this time.
Rene Weiler’s team, in fact, has only managed to win one out of their first four Swiss Super League matches. They have drawn their last three games against FC Zurich, Stade Lausanne Ouchy, and St Gallen. This implies that their only victory in the past six games was when they won in a penalty shootout against Genk during the second qualifying stage.
The victory of Rangers in the first leg against Servette was exactly what Michael Beale’s team needed after their surprising defeat to Kilmarnock in the Scottish Premiership. However, those mistakes were fixed when Livingston visited on Saturday.
In their second attempt to end Celtic’s dominant reign, Rangers started their quest by scoring four goals against David Martindale’s team without any response. The deadlock was broken by Sam Lammers within the first 10 minutes, and later, Abdallah Sima, Danilo, and Kieran Dowell joined in the second-half onslaught.
Although facing a few unfortunate fitness problems prior to Livingston’s visit, Rangers managed to achieve a resounding victory in front of their loyal fans at Ibrox. Additionally, the upcoming League Cup match against Greenock Morton next weekend will undoubtedly be of lower importance compared to Tuesday’s second leg.
The Gers recently suffered a third-round qualifying exit in the 2021-22 season. They were eliminated by Malmo, who had previously knocked them out at this stage in 2011 as well. However, in both instances, the Scottish team did lose the first leg to the Swedish giants.
Servette vs Rangers Prediction
Servette possible starting lineup:
Mall; Vouilloz, Rouiller, Severin, Mazikou; Kutesa, Diba, Cognat, Guillemenot; Fofana, Bedia
Rangers possible starting lineup:
Butland; Tavernier, Goldson, Souttar, Barisic; Raskin, Jack, Cantwell; Lammers, Dessers, Danilo
Servette 1-2 Rangers (Rangers win 4-2 on aggregate)
Servette is quickly becoming known as Switzerland’s draw specialists, but the hosts cannot settle for a tie if they want to continue their journey in the continent, and Beale’s weakened defensive line should brace themselves for a series of attacks from the Grenats.
The injuries on Servette’s side will not provide any assistance to their cause either. However, considering that Rangers have regained their impressive form against Livingston, we can predict that they will achieve the same score as in the first leg. This will allow the Scottish giants to secure a playoff match with either PSV or Sturm Graz.