Steven Gerrard’s Rangers side will be looking to overturn a 3-1 home deficit when they travel to the BayArena to take on a high-flying Bayer Leverkusen team in the Europa League this Thursday. The first-leg at the Ibrox didn’t go exactly to plan for the Glasgow club, who were torn apart in spells by the German giants prior to the lockdown. The Bundesliga outfit will come into this tie in a fairly commanding position, in that even a 2-0 victory will not be enough for the Premiership side to progress into the next stage of the competition.
The Glasgow club’s preparations towards the resumption of football had been in full swing over recent weeks, with a highly successful pre-season tour to France now behind them as well. Wins against the likes of Lyon and Nice would’ve certainly filled the Gers with a fair share of both confidence and hope, while their first win of the league season last weekend would have to be perceived as a step in the right direction as well. The only real concern for Gerrard going into this fixture will be fatigue, with the Gers set to face off against St.Mirren in the league less than 72 hours after their match against the German side kicks off.
Jermain Defoe’s hamstring injury means that the veteran striker is likely to play no part in proceedings this midweek. Although depending entirely on the talents of Morelos to produce the goods could prove to be a costly approach, the current predicament that Rangers find themselves in could leave Gerrard without an alternative option. Greg Stewart is the third-choice striker in the Gers’ ranks, and the probability of him entering the field of play this midweek is looking extremely bleak, to say the least. Having rested George Edmundson on the weekend, the young defender is likely to return to the eleven as well.
Here Is The Predicted 4-3-3 Rangers Lineup Vs Bayer Leverkusen:
Predicted 4-3-3 Rangers Lineup Vs Bayer Leverkusen
Allan McGregor was given the nod to start the opening Premiership game against Aberdeen last weekend, and it’s safe to say that he was as assured as ever between the sticks. Despite the presence of Jon McLaughlin, the veteran stopper is expected to start this Europa League fixture as well. In front of him, Gerrard could bring young George Edmundson back into the side in place of the recently signed Nigeria defender Leon Balogun, to be deployed alongside Connor Goldson. Borna Barisic and James Tavernier are expected to continue in the full-back roles as well.
Ryan Jack has developed into one of the most important players in the Rangers roster over recent seasons, and with good reason. Often seen just in front of the defence line, the Scot can drop deep and pick the ball up from the defenders, while also having the creativity and vision required to start attacks from his position in the Gers’ engine room. Glen Kamara is expected to start alongside him, tasked with the job of getting up and down the pitch. The third midfield role should be taken up by Joe Aribo, who has been their best player over the course of the last many weeks of action.
In the absence of Jermain Defoe, Colombian striker Alfredo Morelos is effectively guaranteed a start against the Bundesliga outfit on Thursday. Any hopes that Gerrard’s men have of turning this tie around will be pinned onto the shoulders of the former Helsinki man, who will have to be at his absolute best to find the net against Leverkusen. Alongside him, Gerrard is expected to stick with the same dynamic wide-duo that has been doing the business for them over the last few weeks. Ianis Hagi and Ryan Kent seem to have formed quite the relationship on the pitch, and they will have to be in full-flow to help the Gers secure a potentially historic European victory as well.
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