Following this afternoon’s Europa League Last 16 draw, we’ve picked out three Bayer Leverkusen dangermen Rangers will need to keep quiet in order to progress to the quarter-finals.
Leverkusen are an in-form side who have won nine of their last ten matches in all competitions, a run which stretches back to before their winter break.
They have talent all over the pitch, but there are a few who will require more attention than others.
Rated at a whopping £81m by Transfermarkt, 20-year-old Havertz is the star of this Leverkusen side. A full German international, he’s an extremely talented individual who, despite his age, has already made over 100 league appearances for the club.
Usually deployed either in an attacking midfield role or on the right, he put on a show during the second-leg Round of 32 fixture against Porto, scoring once and registering two assists in a 3-1 win.
This hasn’t been his most productive season in terms of final third contributions, with just five goals and three assists in 20 league appearances. However, his outstanding performance in Portugal may just have signalled a return to top form.
Argentinian striker Alario isn’t always the first name on the teamsheet but the £15.5m-rated striker [Transfermarkt] is set to benefit from Kevin Volland’s absence after the fellow forward sustained a serious ankle injury.
While six goals in 17 Bundesliga appearances isn’t a particularly frightening record, Alario enjoys the Europa League. He netted four times in seven outings during the 2018/19 campaign and has scored in both of his appearances this season – home and away against Porto.
The former River Plate star has international experience and at 27, should be in the prime of his career. As an out-and-out centre forward, he’ll be looking to get the better of Connor Goldson and co.
22-year-old Bailey is an exciting winger often used as an impact substitute by manager, Peter Bosz. Rated at an impressive £33.3m by Transfermarkt, he’s an extremely talented, if unpredictable player.
The Jamaica international has had a stop-start season, with injury problems and two red card suspensions restricting him to just 12 league appearances and minimal European action.
However, three of his four league goals have come against Bayern Munich (2) and Borussia Dortmund, showing that he’s a man for the big occasion.
Bailey usually operates on the left, so if and when he features against Rangers, James Tavernier will have his hands full.