SUPER EAGLES

'Fast, strong, and skilful' Joe Aribo backed to send Rangers into Europa League final

Rangers will be banking on Joe Aribo's goals as centre forward when they host RB Leipzig with one goal down

Joe Aribo has been a mainstay for Rangers and the Super Eagles of Nigeria during the 021/22 session (Stuart Wallace/BPI/REX)

Former Rangers midfielder Kevin Thomson has backed Super Eagles midfielder Joe Aribo to be decisive for Rangers in their second leg semifinal clash with RB Leipzig.

Aribo created two goals at the quarter-final stage against Braga to send the Scottish side into the last four, where they now trail by 1-0 against the German team.

Rangers will welcome RB Leipzig to the Ibrox Stadium on Thursday, with the Gers hoping to orchestrate a second consecutive European comeback from a first leg away defeat in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Following the continued absence of first-choice Rangers strikers Alfredo Morelos and Kemar Roofe, Aribo is expected to reprise his new role as the tip of the attack when they welcome RB Leipzig.

Thomson said as much in his column for The Scottish Sun, stating that the coach particularly trusts Aribo to 'deliver the goods' on the second leg.

Thomson wrote: With Alfredo Morelos and Roofe out injured, Joe provided that physicality upfront against Leipzig.

“His performance in the second half was brilliant under the circumstances.

“There is every chance he’ll be asked to perform that role again. The manager has faith in him to do that job and I’m sure he will come up with the goods.

Thomson, who is also a pundit on Sky Sports, noted that the Nigerian international has crucial attributes like his pace, heading, skill and goals that can help him dominate the match.

"Joe is great when people come tight to him and he is excellent in the air. You would expect Rangers to have more of the ball," Thomson noted.

"I think he will have a vital role being the focal point of the attack and bringing Ryan Kent more into the game.

“He has so many great attributes — he is strong, great in the air, has terrific skill and an eye for goal.

“Of course, he has had the odd quiet game, which is understandable, but overall he has been pretty relentless.”

Aribo has netted eight (8) goals and 10 assists for Rangers this season across all competitions.

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