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Rangers vs Borussia Dortmund predicted XIs: Team news as visitors “weakened” by Haaland absence

By Harry Edwards

Rangers vs Borussia Dortmund predicted XIs: Team news as visitors "weakened" by Haaland absence

Published: 15:56, 23 February 2022

Rangers will be looking to cement their spot in the draw for the Europa League last 16 when they host Borussia Dortmund on Thursday at 8pm (UK time).

Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men weren’t favoured going into the first leg against the Champions League dropouts but have taken control of the tie thanks to a 4-2 win at the Westfalenstadion last week.

History is on Rangers’ side as only one team in Europa League history (since 2009/10) has failed to qualify after winning the first leg of a knockout tie by two more more goals away from home, and that was Real Betis vs Sevilla in 2013/14. Dortmund have also lost four of their seven away matches against Scottish sides in European competition.

Rangers vs Borussia Dortmund betting tips from Squawka Bet

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Rangers team news vs Dortmund: Ramsey out but Balogun to return

  • Ins: Leon Balogun
  • Outs: Ianis Hagi, Aaron Ramsey
  • Doubts: None

Rangers remain without Aaron Ramsey for the visit of Dortmund, after the Welshman missed the 1-1 draw with Dundee United at the weekend. It has been a slow start to life in Rangers for Ramsey following his loan move from Juventus, playing just 97 minutes so far, including four against Dortmund last week.

Ianis Hagi is out for the remainder of the season after undergoing knee surgery but Leon Balogun is expected to return.

Predicted Rangers XI vs Dortmund:

  • McGregor;Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Barisic; Jack, Lundstram; Arfield, Aribo, Kent; Morelos. (4-2-3-1).

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Dortmund team news vs Rangers: Erling Haaland remains in Germany

  • Ins: None
  • Outs: Erling Haaland, Giovanni Reyna, Marcel Schmelzer, Dan-Axel Zagadou, Manuel Akanji, Mateu Morey
  • Doubts: Thomas Meunier

Giovanni Reyna made his return to the Dortmund starting XI in the 6-0 thrashing of Borussia Monchengladbach at the weekend but he lasted just 30 minutes before having to go off injured, visibly upset by what appears to be a re-injury. Manuel Akanji and Dan-Axel Zagadou have also suffered recent injuries, ruling them out.

Another big blow for Dortmund is the absence of Erling Haaland, who has not travelled to Scotland for the second leg, though he has returned to training. While players do want to test themselves against the best, Rangers centre-back Balogun has admitted Haaland’s absence is a boost.

“I think in this competition you want to compete against the best and he is one of the best at the moment,” Balogun told reporters.

“So from that perspective it is a sad thing. But if you look at what he means to Dortmund then surely it is a disadvantage to them, it is going to weaken them a little bit.

“But then again they have got enough to compensate. Not at the same level probably. But mixed feelings. Definitely not going to complain about it though.”

Predicted Dortmund XI vs Rangers:

  • Kobel; Can, Hummels, Pongracic; Hazard, Witsel, Dahoud, Guerreiro; Reus, Bellingham; Malen. (3-4-2-1)
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