Bayer Leverkusen vs Rangers Match Preview

By William Boyd
 August 5, 2020

Rangers head to Germany to finally complete the 2nd leg of the Europa League clash against Bayer Leverkusen.

The Germans are cruising 3-1 from the first leg.

This game will be different. Bayer will still have the star studded side that came to Glasgow in March. However, the Germans will be without a vocal backing as the global pandemic still forces games to be played in empty stadiums.

Rangers have just kicked off their league campaign with a dominant display against Aberdeen. A wonderfully worked move was finished off by the calm and cool Kent. Rangers failed to really kick on from that and stayed in first gear with Aberdeen failing to register a shot at goal.

Bayer Leverkusen, Rangers Match Preview

Leon Balogun was handed his first start for the Gers but will be unavailable for the game on Thursday night.

Bayer on the other hand haven't played since the 4th of July when Bayern Munich snatched the DFB-Pokal Cup.

Hopefully so little time away from football can play into our favour. Also the main star Kai Havertz has tried to force a move to Chelsea before the start of Thursday nights European clash. That is if you believe the MSM.

Let's pinpoint the 'key players' who could cause us some serious issues.

One of the hottest properties in Europe at the moment- Kai Havertz. Kai never really got out of first gear against us. He cruised the pitch finding pockets of space. Some of the top clubs in Europe are after the young germans services but leading the race as said previously is Chelsea.

Rangers head to Bayer Leverkusen

Prolific frontman Kevin Volland missed the first leg but the German should make the squad for Thursday nights Europa League tie. Volland has bagged 10 goals in all competitions and will be looking to add to his tally.

Bailey and Diaby are going to cause us issues. Bailey came on in the second half and left a helpless Polster in his tracks. He also scored an impressive goal to all but seal Leverkusen's place in the quarter-finals of the EL.

Sven Bender is very impressive at the back. He adds a vast amount of experience to Bayers backline. I expect a few clashes with Morelos should he start on Thursday evening.

Let's finally target our own strengths.

McGregor has been massive for us through our European run. Some huge saves at the big moments I feel he doesn't get the credit he should and maybe once his time is up, we will reflect on what was a wonderful career playing at the highest level for close to 20 years.

Tavernier and Barisic will be asked to perform their usual up and down thankless tasks. These two players have been quite key to how we usually perform in Europe. Hopefully, the pair can get balls into the box for Morelos to attack.

Having been dropped on Sunday for debutant Leon Balogun, it will be interesting to see what George Edmondson turns up. His confidence could be in tatters, I thought it was a curveball from Gerrard and it could have a negative impact on the English man's confidence. George was ever-present in the preseason and seemed to have nailed down that position. A couple of silly balls seem to have killed his chances of a regular place in Gerrard's team especially after Balogun's showing at Pittodrie.

We're going to need a full team to be ‘at it’ if truth be told. I’m feeling the need to highlight

Aribo, Hagi, Kent, Kamara and Jack will, of course, be absolutely vital for us if we were to stand any chance of pulling off shock of the round... AGAIN!

Aribo and Kent have been superb so far and both seem to have settled and Kent is nearing to go. These two could be game-winners for us.

The much talked about Alfredo Morelos is still here and I'm sure he is ready to rock! Despite not scoring his overall team play has improved, coming short and dragging McKenna who had to think more than usual worked but didn't work enough.

Hopefully, Morelos can sign off with a goal or 3. I think his days are numbered particularly now after the arrival of ​Kemar Roofe​ and ​Cedric Itten​.

It seems it's all a matter of when and not if anymore.

Can we do the impossible? Tune into​ BT Sport​ on ​Thursday​ and remember the kick-off is horrendously early at ​17:55​!

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