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Rangers vs Servette betting tips: Champions League third qualifying round first leg preview, predictions, team news and odds

Rangers vs Servette odds and betting statistics

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Rangers vs Servette match preview

Having won two qualifiers to get into the Champions League group stages a year ago, ending their 12-year exile from the competition, Rangers are faced with the exact same challenge again here.

In this round 12 months ago, the Gers came from 2-0 down to defeat Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, before ousting PSV in the play-offs, courtesy of a famous 1-0 victory in Eindhoven.

After that though, the campaign was catastrophic for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s team, losing all six matches, ending up with a -20 goal difference, meaning they’re the worst team in Champions League history.

Now led by Michael Beale’s the Light Blues are determined to get back to Europe’s top table, and rectify those miserable results.

On Saturday, Rangers began the new Scottish Premiership season at Kilmarnock, but suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at Rugby Park, rarely threatening and conceding mid-way through the second half.

The Gers need to bounce back and quickly.

René Weiler’s team took on Genk, only managing to draw 1-1 in Geneva, before battling to a 2-2 stalemate in Belgium, with Timothé Cognat and Chris Bedia the scorers.

So, the match at Cegeka Arena was to be determined by a penalty shootout, with Genk missing two of their three spot kicks, meaning, when Ronny Rodelin converted, this spark wild Servette celebrations.

This victory means les Grenats have qualified for a UEFA group stage for the first time ever, needing to overcome the 2022 Europa League Finalists to keep their Champions League dreams alive.

Ahead of the second leg at Stade de Genève in seven nights time, will Rangers establish a first leg lead at Ibrox?

The winners of this tie will take on PSV Eindhoven or Sturm Graz in the UEFA Champions League play-off round.

The losers drop into the UEFA Europa League group stages.

Rangers team news

Five debutants started at Rugby Park on Saturday, including goalkeeper Jack Butland.

At the other end of the field was a new-look front-four, featuring Kieran Dowell, Sam Lammers, Abdallah Sima and Dessers up front, while fellow-new striker Danilo came off the bench on Saturday.

Here, Danilo could come into the team, despite looking rusty at the weekend.

James Tavernier will captain the team, making his 71st appearance in UEFA competition for the club.

Meanwhile, José Cifuentes, who’s arrived from MLS champions LAFC, could make his own debut off the bench.

Predicted XI (4-3-3): Butland; Tavernier, Goldson, Souttar, Barišić; Raskin, Lundstram, Cantwell, Lammers, Dessers; Danilo.

Servette team news

René Weiler’s team are three matches into the new Swiss Super League season, beating Grasshoppers 3-1 before back-to-back draws against Zürich and then, on Saturday, with Stade Lausanne Ouchy.

Chris Bedia is certainly their most dangerous attacker, having scored four times in four appearances so far this season, including the crucial equaliser against Genk last Wednesday.

What was most remarkable about that victory is that Enzo Crivelli was sent off in the fifth minute, meaning he’ll sit out this first leg suspended.

Goalkeeper Jérémy Frick went off injured in Belgium, making Joël Mall likely to deputise here.

Predicted XI (4-4-2): Mall; Vouilloz, Rouiller, Severin, Mazikou; Cognat, Douline, Kutesa, Antunes; Fofana, Bedia.

UEFA Champions League third qualifying round results & fixtures

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Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".

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