Rangers drawn to face Benfica in last 16 of Europa League 

Philippe Clement's side will prepare for the next stage of their European challenge.

Rangers have been drawn to face Portuguese side Benfica in last 16 of Europa League.

The Portuguese side currently lead their domestic league and reached this stage of the European competition by defeating Toulouse 2-1 on aggregate.

The Ibrox side were seeded in the draw after topping a group containing Real Betis, Sparta Prague and Aris Limassol.

That meant they bypassed the play-off round to go straight to the last 16 and are now just three ties away from the final in Dublin. As seeds they also avoided being drawn against the likes of Liverpool, Atalanta, West Ham or Villarreal

Rangers reached the final of the competition last time they played in it, losing on penalties to Eintracht Frankfurt on a dramatic night in Seville.

The Round of 16 games will be played on March 7 and March 14 with Rangers at home in the second leg.

The club later announced that they had been told that the kick-off time for the second leg at Ibrox had been moved to 5.45pm against their wishes.

A statement on the Rangers website read: “Rangers, on behalf of our supporters, are disappointed to have learned our Round of 16 Europa League home match with Benfica, on Thursday March 14, will kick-off at 17:45.

“Despite a robust case being made to UEFA for the fixture to be played in the traditional 20:00 slot, it is instead to begin significantly earlier, primarily due to broadcaster commitments, and thus likely cause significant inconvenience and disruption to our supporters.

“The club fully sympathises with our loyal supporters for the additional sacrifices they may need to make to attend the match, with this issue falling totally outside of our control.”

Europa League Round of 16 in full

Sparta Prague v Liverpool

Roma v Brighton

Freiburg v West Ham

Milan v Slavia Prague

Marseille v Villarreal

Benfica v Rangers

Sporting v Atalanta

Qarabag v Bayer Leverkusen

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