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Rangers to honour kitman Bell as they eye comeback to reach UEL final

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Rangers welcome RB Leipzig to Ibrox this evening as the Gers look to overturn their tie against the Germans are reach the Europa League final.

A stunning Angelino volley late on in their first-leg has given Leipzig the slight edge in the semi-final clash.

Van Bronckhorst’s Rangers take on RB Leipzig in the Europa League this week

Van Bronckhorst’s Rangers take on RB Leipzig in the Europa League this week

But Rangers will hope to make home advantage count when the Bundesliga side travel to Scotland.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side are still mourning the shock death of kitman Jimmy Bell and will be playing in his honour on Thursday evening.

The Scottish giants will also take heart from their superb European performances this season having already eliminated the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Red Star Belgrade and Braga.

Now, they’ll be looking for another huge display and set up a Europa league final clash against either West Ham or Eintracht Frankfurt.

This Europa League clash will take place on Thursday, May 5.

talkSPORT 2 will have exclusive coverage from Glasgow with kick-off set for 8pm.

Adrian Durham will be your host while commentary will come from Nigel Adderley and former Rangers midfielder Charlie Adam.

To tune in to talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2, click  HERE for the live stream.

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Rangers star Ramsey could be fit to face Leipzig

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Rangers star Ramsey could be fit to face Leipzig

Rangers v Leipzig: Team news

Striker Kemar Roofe and on-loan midfielder Aaron Ramsey could return from their respective knee and hamstring problems to face Leipzig.

On their availability, Van Bronckhorst said: “It depends how the training will go.

“When they got injured we all knew that they would work towards the game against Leipzig.

“Of course I will wait as long as possible, but the most important thing for me is that they are physically able to play a part in the game, that is always the deciding factor.

“We still have one day to prepare. Today [Wednesday] will be an important day for both.

“I cannot tell you if they are in the squad or not.”

Rangers have enjoyed some superb European performances this season

Getty

Rangers have enjoyed some superb European performances this season

Rangers v Leipzig: What has been said?

Van Bronckhorst believes the character of his Rangers players will shine through against Leipzig while they still mourn the passing of Bell.

“Yesterday wasn’t about keeping the spirits high, we were all shocked by the news that Jimmy passed away, it was a hard day for all of us,” said the Rangers boss.

“I think everyone was really down as you could imagine, so yesterday we didn’t do a lot.

“We were at the training ground, but the atmosphere was very down and still in shock.

“I don’t think we had the feeling that we had to keep our spirits high.

“We talked about him, we shared the personal stories we had with Jimmy and now we look ahead to Leipzig.

“It was a really big game already, but we are all very determined to go out tomorrow to give everything we can to make everyone proud, especially make Jimmy proud.

“We still mourn, we are still down, but the character of my players are the best I have seen in any teams I have coached and I am sure that the character, the determination will be there and we will do everything to reach the final.

“We are back and we are going to try as prepare as well as possible. I think we will be ready.”

The Europa League final is coming up soon

Getty – Contributor

The Europa League final is coming up soon

Rangers v Leipzig: Match stats

  • Rangers are hosting a major UEFA European semi-final for the first time since April 2008, in the UEFA Cup against Fiorentina; they’ve managed to reach the final in four of their previous five semi-final appearances in major UEFA European competition (1961, 1967 & 1972 Cup Winners’ Cup and 2008 UEFA Cup). Coming in to the 2021-22 campaign, only Porto (5/6) and Sevilla (6/6) have a higher progression rate from major UEFA European semi-finals than Rangers (80% – min. 5 ties).
  • RB Leipzig managed 10 shots during the first leg at home, their fewest since dropping into the UEFA Europa League earlier this season, with Angeliño’s winner the final shot of the match in the 85th minute. Rangers, however, have only managed six shots on target across their last 300 minutes of action in the competition.
  • Since the formation of the UEFA Europa League in 2009, only four sides (from 17 ties) have managed to overturn a first-leg semi-final defeat to progress to the final, however, each of those occasions followed on from a single-goal loss in the first leg, with Liverpool (v Villareal) the last side to do so in 2015-16.
  • RB Leipzig’s only previous encounter away from home in Scotland was a 2-1 defeat to Celtic in the UEFA Champions League group stages in 2018-19, meaning each of the three matches between themselves and Scottish sides have all been won by the home side.
  • Following on from the first leg being the first ever meeting between Rangers and RB Leipzig, the Scottish side will host their German counterparts for the very first time. They are winless in their last three home games versus German sides however (D1 L2), since beating Werder Bremen in March 2008.
  • Ten of Christopher Nkunku’s 11 goals for RB Leipzig in major European competition have come this season, leaving only Karim Benzema (14), Robert Lewandowski (13) and Sébastien Haller (11) with more goals across 2021-22 in the Champions League, Europa League and Conference League prior to the second leg matches. Indeed, he is currently tied with Timo Werner and Emil Forsberg for the most goals in Leipzig’s short European history (excluding qualifiers).
  • Rangers’ James Tavernier (5) has scored more home goals in this season’s UEFA Europa League than any other player, scoring via a penalty in each of his last three games in the competition at Ibrox. Should he score a penalty goal in this match, he would be the first player to score via this method in four consecutive home matches in the competition.
  • RB Leipzig are looking to progress to their very first European final as a club, with this their first ever two-legged semi-final. The German side have however progressed from four of their six other two-legged knockout ties in European competition.




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