Bayer Leverkusen v Rangers: Things you might have forgotten about Europa League tie

By Andy CampbellBBC Sport Scotland
George Edmundson scores
George Edmundson headed Rangers' goal in March's 3-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen
Europa League last-16 second leg: Bayer Leverkusen v Rangers
Venue: BayArena Date: Thursday, 6 August Time: 17:55 BST
Coverage: Listen live on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online and follow live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app

It's been five months since Bayer Leverkusen opened up a commanding lead in their Europa League tie with Rangers, even if it feels like longer.

Chances are you've forgotten much of what happened in the first leg at Ibrox and the state of play going into Thursday's return leg.

And you could be forgiven for being confused, given Steven Gerrard's side are playing in two different seasons at the same time, having started the new Scottish Premiership campaign on Saturday.

So, time for a quick recap...

What's the score?

Leverkusen won 3-1 at Ibrox on 12 March in the last competitive match played in Scotland before the UK went into lockdown.

Rangers, therefore, need to score three goals on Thursday to stand any chance of overturning the tie, with a 3-1 victory forcing extra time. But George Edmundson's goal means a 3-0 win for Gerrard's men would send them through.

Any optimism might be tempered, though, by the fact Rangers have never overturned a 3-1 first-leg deficit in European competition.

Rangers players
Rangers could not deliver a positive result in the first leg

Where is the game being played?

Leverkusen's BayArena is the venue for the second leg, with all of the remaining matches in this season's Europa League will also taking place in Germany.

Like Rangers' 1-0 league win at Aberdeen on Saturday, Thursday's match will be played behind closed doors.

Suspensions and squad changes?

Glen Kamara's third booking of the tournament in the first leg means he is suspended, while Kerem Demirbay and Mitchell Weiser are banned for the hosts.

Matt Polster and Florian Kamberi - who featured as substitutes in March - are no longer at Rangers, while Wes Foderingham, Sheyi Ojo and Andy Halliday have also moved on.

Jon McLaughlin, Calvin Bassey, Leon Balogun, Cedric Itten and Kemar Roofe have been recruited, but none are eligible for the tie.

All of the players that featured in Peter Bosz's matchday squad at Ibrox are still with Bayer Leverkusen, including scorers Kai Havertz, Charles Aranguiz and Leon Bailey.

But Nadiem Amiri will not feature after he came into contact with someone carrying coronavirus. The midfielder is in quarantine for a week as a precaution.

And the winner will play?

Inter Milan lie in wait in the quarter-finals. That one-legged last-eight tie will take place at Dusseldorf Arena next Monday, 10 August, with Inter having beaten Getafe 2-0 in a one-off last-16 encounter at Arena Aufschalke on Wednesday.

The semi-final draw has also been made and the winner of that quarter-final will meet either Shakhtar Donetsk, Eintracht Frankfurt or FC Basel in a one-legged semi-final on 16 August.

The final will be played on 21 August at Cologne's RheinEnergieStadion.

What is the form guide?

Rangers' weekend win, courtesy of Ryan Kent's goal, was the Ibrox side's first competitive match since their Ibrox meeting with Leverkusen.

Last month, Gerrard's side warmed up for the season with victories over Hamilton, Lyon, Nice, Motherwell and Coventry, losing just one goal during that period.

Leverkusen's visit to Glasgow was their last match before lockdown in Germany and their interrupted 2019-20 Bundesliga campaign resumed in mid-May.

They won six and drew one of their final 10 league games, finishing fifth, then lost the German Cup final to Bayern Munich in their most recent match on 4 July.

The new Bundesliga season begins on 18 September.

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