Rangers prediction: Probable Gers XI to face Bayer Leverkusen
Having lost the first leg, Rangers will travel to Germany to face Bayer Leverkusen in a neutral venue as they look to come back from a 3-1 loss.
Steven Gerrard’s men will be entering the game on the back of a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Aberdeen last weekend. They cannot afford to be on the back foot against the German side and only a win with a bigger margin would ensure them progress.
On the other hand, Leverkusen too would be hoping to go into the next round and it will not be an easy fixture for the Gers.
While most of the key players are available for selection, English veteran Jermaine Defoe will remain on the sidelines after picking up an injury in pre-season. Nikola Katic will also be a notable absentee on Thursday.
Probable Rangers XI
Allan McGregor (GK)
The former Scottish international is Rangers’ first-choice in goal. He was ever-present last season and also started this campaign with a clean sheet. He will be expected to keep Leverkusen’s frontline quiet on Thursday.
James Tavernier (RB)
The English man will be leading his side from the back. He was not as effective on flanks as he used to be against Aberdeen and needs to improve if they are to score and overturn their first-leg loss against the German opponents.
Connor Goldson (CB)
Goldson seems set in the heart of Rangers’ defence and was solid on the opening day of the new campaign. He needs to be at his best and help the team from conceding.
Leon Balogun (CB)
The Nigerian put in an impressive performance on his debut for the Gers and will be expected to continue with the fine form. He will be partnering with Goldson in central defence.
Borna Barisic (LB)
The Croatian was one of their best players last season and seems to be in good form once again. He performed well in the last outing but needs to be more precise with his crosses and find his teammates.
Ryan Jack (CDM)
The 28-year-old should start ahead of the backline and will be key in breaking Leverkusen’s attack. He needs to take his chances well and dictate the play from a deeper position.
Glen Kamara (CM)
The Finnish international put on a decent show in the last outing but needs to be at his best and help his side score enough to qualify for the next round.
Joe Aribo (CM)
Aribo was one of the most influential players in their first game of the new season. He will be an undoubted starter.
Scott Arfield (RW)
The former Burnley man should start ahead of Ianis Hagi as he has more experience than the Romanian in this kind of situation. His experience will be depended upon as they look to come from behind.
Ryan Kent (LW)
Having claimed the spot for himself, he was able to guide his team to a win in the last game. He will start for sure and will be expected to deliver on Thursday.
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Alfredo Morelos (ST)
The Colombian hasn’t been in good form, having scored only one goal since the boxing day fixture last season. He will be leading the attack and needs to get back to his goalscoring form if Rangers are to have a chance of progressing.