HomeEuropa LeagueRangers' Roofe, Ramsey face fitness tests for Leipzig clash

Rangers’ Roofe, Ramsey face fitness tests for Leipzig clash

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football – Europa League – Quarter Final – Second Leg – Rangers v Sporting Braga – Ibrox, Glasgow, Scotland, Britain – April 14, 2022 Rangers’ Kemar Roofe celebrates scoring their third goal Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

(Reuters) – Rangers forward Kemar Roofe and midfielder Aaron Ramsey face late fitness tests ahead of Thursday’s Europa League semi-final second leg at home to RB Leipzig, the Scottish Premiership side’s manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst said.

Jamaica international Roofe and on-loan Wales midfielder Ramsey have been out with knee and hamstring problems since Rangers beat Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-finals last month.

Rangers lost the first leg 1-0 to Leipzig in Germany last week.

“I don’t know yet, we still have one day to prepare,” Van Bronckhorst, 47, told reporters on Wednesday.

“Of course, they are pushing to be ready for the game tomorrow. So today will be an important day for both.

“At the moment, I cannot tell you if they are in the squad tomorrow or not.”

Van Bronckhorst said the players were mourning the death of the club’s long-serving kit man Jimmy Bell but were determined to reach the final.

“The fans are always important to us at home and they are a big factor in (creating) the atmosphere, so tomorrow will be the same. We are going to have a noisy night,” the Dutch coach added.

“A noisy night (is what) we need to overcome this opponent. It will be emotional but we will be ready when the whistle goes.”

Leipzig manager Domenico Tedesco urged his team to be positive.

“We’re leading 1-0 in the tie, but I’m expecting us to need more goals tomorrow. Rangers will apply pressure – maybe not from the first minute, but at some point. So goals are always nice to have,” Tedesco said.

“We did a good job in the first leg. Rangers were sitting deep. We’re hoping for more space tomorrow. If we do, we’ll be more dangerous.

“Rangers will play differently at home than they did last week. The crowd will be a factor.”

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru,Editing by Christian Radnedge and Ed Osmond)