Fashion Sakala tipped for key role v Leipzig after early Rangers team news - pundit
Noel Whelan has backed Fashion Sakala to lead the line for Rangers against Leipzig tomorrow (5 May).
The former Aberdeen striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed the 25-year-old will be buoyed by his well-taken strike against Celtic on Sunday (1 May).
Sakala’s Old Firm goal brought his tally to 11 for the season across all competitions – despite making just 17 starts.
As per club media today (4 May), manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst revealed Kemar Roofe and Aaron Ramsey are facing a race against time to be fit for tomorrow’s Europa League semi-final second leg at Ibrox.
Rangers trail 1-0 on aggregate after falling to defeat in Germany last week.
When asked if Sakala will start against Leipzig, Whelan told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury: “Yeah, absolutely.
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“I don’t think they’ve got too many other options, have they? Especially with Roofe and Morelos out.
“They needed to play him against Celtic. He could have had a bit of ring rust and needed to get 90 minutes in a big game under his belt ahead of Thursday.
“It’s a massive game for them, and for me – they have the advantage at Ibrox on the night, even if they’re 1-0 down in the tie.
“They need an out-and-out number nine in this game, someone to lead the line and ask questions of a top-quality defence.
“He took his goal really well, and it was a vital move from Van Bronckhorst to breed that confidence by starting him in such a big game.”
Rangers face a Europa League final against West Ham or Eintracht Frankfurt if they can overturn the deficit.
Sakala is contracted until 2025.