BAYER LEVERKUSEN will leave for Glasgow at the last minute before Thursday’s Europa League encounter against Rangers after being told they can’t train on the scarred Ibrox pitch.

UEFA normally insist visiting teams get the chance to prepare at the venue 24 hours before kick-off.

But they have been forced to order the Bundesliga giants to stay clear as the playing surface has taken a pounding during a brutal winter and busy period of home games

Leverkusen will now train in the Rhineland tomorrow before jetting out for the first leg of the last-16 tie against Steven Gerrard’s outfit.

Portuguese side Braga were also forced to avoid the Ibrox pitch before their game in Glasgow last month.

In the meantime, German ace Leon Bailey is relishing the showdown and, speaking to the Daily Record, admitted: “Steven Gerrard is a legend. Of course, I admired him as a player. He was an incredible player. He must have gained a lot of knowledge as a player and I am sure he would have passed this on to the Rangers squad.

“We have to prepared for anything that they throw at us. We are going there to get the job done.”

John Beaton, meanwhile, will be the referee when Celtic visit Govan on Sunday


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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