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    Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen vs Rangers

    Prediction: Rangers win

    Best Odds: 4/1

    Bookmaker: Betfair

    Domestic football may be in short supply during the month of August but in its place, we’ll see the return of the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League. The two blockbuster competitions will be transformed into a straight knockout tournament, filling the void that has been left by the absence of UEFA Euro 2020 this summer. Today, we’re going to be taking a look at what should be an intriguing round of 16 meeting in the UEL between Bayer Leverkusen and Rangers.

    Bayer Leverkusen

    Back at the start of June, Leverkusen booked their place in the DFB Cup Final when they ran out 3-0 winners over 1. FC Saarbrucken. They proceeded to draw 1-1 with Schalke before a nice 3-1 victory over Cologne, but it all came crashing down against Hertha Berlin where they lost 2-0. They finished off their Bundesliga campaign with a 1-0 win over Mainz, only to lose the DFB Cup Final against Bayern Munich.

    Team News

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    The expectation is that Havertz will be able to feature for the home side in this tie, and that he will not leave to join Chelsea before their Europa League adventure is over. They will, however, be without Paulinho who has been ruled out through injury, whereas Demirbay is suspended.

    Rangers

    Rangers managed to book their place in the last 16 of the Europa League with an impressive but narrow 1-0 win over Braga, before being knocked out of the Scottish Cup by Hearts just three days later. That bad form carried over into a loss against Hamilton, but they were able to regain some pride with a 1-0 victory over Ross County. They proceeded to lose the first leg of their Europa League tie 3-1 to Leverkusen, and then almost five months later, they returned with a win against Aberdeen.

    Team News

    Defoe is a doubt for this game with a slight injury, whereas Katic has all but been ruled out for the second leg. Roofe and Balogun are both unable to feature as their signing came during the 2020/21 campaign, forcing Steven Gerrard to reshift his starting XI.

    Factors to Consider

    • In the first leg at Ibrox, Leverkusen beat Rangers 3-1.
    • Leverkusen have won three, drawn one and lost two of their last six games.
    • Rangers have won three and lost three of their last six games.
    • Leverkusen have scored 10 goals and conceded eight in their last six games.
    • Rangers have scored four goals and conceded five in their last six games.

    Conclusion

    While Leverkusen have been playing a lot of football since the Bundesliga got started again, it’s actually Rangers who will be the fresher of the two with the Scottish Premier League returning. Leverkusen, on the other hand, haven’t played since early July, and we think that’ll serve as a real problem for them. We expect the Scots to pick up the win on the night, but they won’t be able to overcome the aggregate score, ensuring that the hosts make their way into the last eight.

    Prediction: Rangers win

    Best Odds: 4/1

    Bookmaker: Betfair

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