Steven Gerrard to use Liverpool experience for Rangers vs Bayer Leverkusen tie

Rangers face a tricky test against Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League but Steven Gerrard is feeling positive.

The Bundesliga side are one of the better teams left in the competition and proved their ability with a 5-2 aggregate win over Primeira Liga challenges Porto.

Rangers earned their spot in the last 16 by beating Braga both home and away, but Peter Bosz’ team are sure to put up some stern resistance.

Light Blues fans may be looking for some reassurance as they go in search of progression into the quarter-finals, and Gerrard’s last trip as a player could do just that.

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The former England skipper was part of the Liverpool team that secured a 6-2 aggregate victory with a 3-1 win at the Bay Arena, which put the Reds into the last eight onto their way to glory.

Gerrard said of their next opponents: "I think they are one of the favourites.

"The way they have dealt with Porto, I think they deserve to be one of the favourites.

"Ever since I made my debut, my experience of playing against German players and German teams is that they are always tough, big strong athletes who are tactically astute.

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"It is exciting but it is going to be very tough."

He said: "I know their stadium, it is a fantastic stadium.

"I have played there and experienced it and it can be an exciting place to go, real close to the pitch.

"The atmosphere is electric there, it is not a huge stadium but it is real close to the pitch and German fans all around the stadium, so it will be a good challenge for the players."

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Now that Rangers have slipped 12 points behind rivals Celtic in the Premiership the Europa League offered Gerrard another chance to win his first piece of silverware as a manager.

He said after their 4-2 aggregate win on Wednesday: "It's one thing giving a team a game plan, but it's another trusting them to carry it out.

"I thought they were faultless, certainly out of possession. Super proud of the players. To a man, they were outstanding.

"The idea was to let their back five have the ball because they were the least dangerous players on the pitch. We knew we had to give the ball up but when we won it, we had to be brave to go and create."

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