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.
“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
Rangers face a Europa League final against West Ham or Eintracht Frankfurt if they can overturn the deficit.
Sakala is contracted until 2025.
In other news, Raith Rovers plotting to sign Rangers star after fresh twist.