Preview: Rangers vs. Servette 

Preview: Rangers vs. Servette 

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.

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.

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

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):

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.

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