Glasgow Rangers face Bayer Leverkusen in the second leg of the last 16 of the Europa League this evening and Steven Gerrard’s are currently 3-1 down and the Bundesliga side have three away goals, so a big performance is needed if the ‘Gers are to advance to the quarter-finals.
Gerrard will have to pick the best starting XI that he feels can go out and attack the game from the start, but he will also have a selection dilemma in defence, as Leon Balogun performed very well in his professional debut for the club on the weekend, but he will be unavailable for selection as he only just signed and will therefore not be registered to participate in the 2019/20 Europa League.
Speaking to Football Insider on who he thinks will replace the defender, former Scottish international Alan Hutton said, “I’ve got a feeling Helander will play, just with his European experience. It’s a difficult choice but one I feel he’ll have to make.
“I think Edmundson has done really well since he come in and he’s probably disappointed that he didn’t start against Aberdeen but this is a chance for whoever to got out and prove they are ready and step into a massive tie, a massive game. They’ll really want to prove themselves because they’ll be disappointed they didn’t start the first game of the season.
“Every footballer is the same, you go and have a good pre-season and the first game is the one where the manager picks his strongest side so they’ll have been disappointed not to start and will be looking to put in a strong performance. Places are still up for grabs and it’s up to one of them to make it their own.”
It will be very interesting to see who Gerrard picks to pair up with Connor Goldson, with the European experience of Filip Helander possibly counting in the Swede’s favour. The centre-back, who signed for £3.51m, has played for Swedish side Malmo in the Champions League and Europa League, per Transfermarkt.
The ‘Gers also have George Edmundson, who partnered Goldson in the reverse fixture against Leverkusen. The Englishman had earned a regular starting berth in the team prior to lockdown and, although he didn’t start on Saturday, he may also be a strong contender to come in for Balogun.
As Hutton has said, the centre-back role alongside Goldson is very much up for grabs and it will be intriguing to see who Gerrard selects for the game at the BayArena this evening.
‘Gers fans, who do you think will get the nod to start at centre-back this evening? Let us know your views by commenting below!
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