Bayer Leverkusen haven’t played a competitive match since losing to Bayern Munich in the DFB Pokal Final a month ago while Rangers have just started their season with a 0-1 win over Aberdeen. Which of the teams will be better prepared?
Rangers have the added pressure of being 3-1 down from the first leg back in early March but an away goal will have them right back in it. Can they do it? Let’s have a look for the three best bets from this fascinating encounter. It’s an early kick off too, things will get under way at 17.55.
The big fear for the German side here will be their lack of playing time since their season ended in that 2-4 defeat to Bayern a month ago. They didn’t finish the season particularly well either it has to be said, winning two, drawing one and losing two.
Their home record is good though, apart from also losing to Bayern in the league at home and, somehow, to Wolfsburg, they’ve won nine from their 11 most recent home matches.
Rangers have only had one competitive match since that 1-3 home loss to Bayer back in March but in their friendlies they took on French opposition in Lyon and Nice and beat both of them. Friendlies aren’t the same though, so while the results do look good on paper they can’t really be counted upon when it comes to form.
The onus will be on the away side here to salvage something but Bayer aren’t the type of team to sit back. We’ve written before about their love for First Half goals, scoring 55.7% of their Bundesliga goals in the first period and that impressive home record is swinging it for us here so Bayer Leverkusen to Win.
Six out of seven previous Bayer Leverkusen matches played at home have seen Over 3.5 goals landing. This team loves attacking and has a blatant disregard for defending. Of their 10 most previous home matches they kept just three Clean Sheets and were conceding 1.29 goals per match. They were scoring 1.88.
As is obvious from the 3-1 aggregate scoreline Rangers have to go for it here and while the season ended with them being a little goal shy, there’s plenty of goals in this side when they’re clicking. Indeed, they were averaging 2.07 goals per match on the road last season. With those figures we’re getting some decent value here with Over 3.5 Goals.
While Bayer got most of their goals in the first half of matches they also had a decent record of 14 goals in their 17 home Bundesliga matches. Rangers got 16 in their 15 away matches last season so we’re expecting both sides to get on the score sheet here during the second period of play.
Rangers will no doubt be pushing for a goal as time ticks down and that will mean leaving themselves open to some blistering Bayer counter-attacks and we’re expecting Both Teams To Score in the Second Half.
Tips for Bayer Leverkusen v Rangers at 17:55 on Thursday
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