The Europa League semi-finals get underway this week, with RB Leipzig playing host to Rangers in their first leg on Thursday (8pm kick-off, UK time).
The Gers are through to their first European semi-final since reaching the penultimate round of the 2007/08 UEFA Cup, and Giovanni van Bronckhorst will certainly have faith his side can produce another continental upset having already claimed the scalp of German giants Borussia Dortmund.
RB Leipzig have reached their second major European semi-final, which has come within only five years since they infiltrated the continental scene, having also reached this stage of the 2019/20 Champions League. Incredibly, Leipzig have only played four Europa League games this season to reach the semis, having come through via a Champions League group-stage exit and bypassing the last-16 against disqualified Spartak Moscow.
RB Leipzig vs Rangers betting tips from Squawka Bet
- RB Leipzig to score a penalty @3/1 with bet365
- James Tavernier to score and RB Leipzig win @16/1 with Hollywoodbets
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RB Leipzig team news vs Rangers: Triple suspension for Saxons
- Ins: Lukas Klostermann
- Outs: Willi Orban, Mohamed Simakan, Kevin Kampl, Amadou Haidara
Amadou Haidara remains sidelined for the hosts, while Domenico Tedesco faces a suspension crisis as three of his first-team players are out with European bans, including Willi Orban, Mohamed Simakan and Kevin Kampl. Lukas Klostermann returns here after missing the weekend’s defeat to Union Berlin.
One man who will undoubtedly play a huge part in this tie is burgeoning French attacker Christopher Nkunku who, quite incredibly, has made a staggering 50 direct scoring contributions in just 46 games for Leipzig this season across all competitions (30 goals, 20 assists), leading to strong transfer links with a host of Premier League clubs, including Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal. But Leipzig president Oliver Mintzlaff has been quick to pour cold water on speculation linking the club’s prized asset with a move away from Saxony.
He told Sky Sports: “Nkunku will be our player next year”, before suggesting that “in football, nobody is unsellable”.
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Predicted RB Leipzig XI vs Rangers:
- Gulacsi; Klostermann, Gvardiol, Halstenberg; Mukiele, Laimer, Adams, Angelino; Olmo, Nkunku, Silva. (3-4-3)
Rangers team news vs RB Leipzig: Ramsey, Roofe double blow for Gers
- Outs: Aaron Ramsey, Kemar Roofe, Alfredo Morelos, Ianis Hagi, Filip Helander
Aaron Ramsey and Kemar Roofe recently sustained a hamstring and knee injury respectively, ruling them out of the next few games, including this crucial semi-final. The duo join attacking talisman Alfredo Morelos on the sidelines, leaving Van Bronckhorst exceptionally light weight up top. Ianis Hagi and Filip Helander are also long-term absentees.
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Predicted Rangers XI vs RB Leipzig:
- McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Barisic; Kamara, Lundstram, Aribo, Jack, Kent; Sakala. (4-2-3-1)