Angel Di Maria Names The 3 Players He Fears The Most In Rangers’ “Excellent Squad” Ahead Of Europa League Tie

Benfica winger Angel Di Maria has praised Rangers trio Jack Butland, James Tavernier and Fabio Silva ahead of the first leg of the Europa League last 16 tie.

The Gers are reeling after a shock home defeat to Motherwell at the weekend but Di Maria was full of praise for Philippe Clement’s side in the build-up to Thursday’s fixture:

“I don’t predict many goals in this tie. We have watched Rangers and they have an excellent squad. The keeper, Butland, is one of the best in Europe. They have the experience of James Tavernier – and Fabio Silva will be super-motivated for this match.”

“If we control the ball against Rangers, I’m convinced we can score goals. But this will be a big battle for us. We wanted to be in the Champions League but our challenge now is to reach the Europa League final.”

Rangers must live up to Di Maria’s words

Butland, in particular, will be delighted to hear Di Maria’s praise. The Gers no.1 will take heart from being praised in glowing terms by another former Manchester United player, as will Tavernier and Wolves loanee Silva.

Of course, they will need to improve on Saturday’s performance to get anything from the match against Benfica. If they play anywhere near as bad as they did versus Motherwell, they could be in for a rude awakening at the Estadio da Luz later this week.

Benfica are licking their own wounds

Rangers’ opponents suffered a 5-0 defeat to rivals Porto at the weekend. It means neither side will go into the Europa League clash that high on confidence.

A lot will depend on which team reacts better to a recent setback. Light Blues fans will, of course, be hoping that their side are the ones who get back in the saddle the quickest and secure a positive result in Portugal.