FORMER Celtic star Andreas Hinkel is counting on the support of Hoops fans as his side RB Leipzig take on Rangers in the Europa League semi-final.
But the former Germany full-back – now assistant manager to Domenico Tedesco with the Bundesliga giants – believes it’s a GOOD thing the Ibrox men have returned to being a club with European pedigree after their financial troubles.
Rangers face Leipzig over two games from next Thursday with the possibility of returning to a continental final, in Sevilla in May, on the line if they can get there.
It’s a highly anticipated prospect and Hinkel told Sport BILD: “Part of the city will definitely be a Leipzig fan in these two games.”
He added: “It’s very good for Scottish football that Rangers have recovered from the tough times, including relegation. [admitted into the fourth tier in 2012].
“They have a lot of quality in attack with players like Ryan Kent, Joe Aribo, Kemar Roofe and Aaron Ramsey.
“In defense, they are robust and strong in duels.
“They have a lot of players with Premier League experience in their ranks. They already know how the game works.
“The atmosphere at the Ibrox stadium will be special. I was very lucky to experience the Glasgow derbies as a player.
“For me, The Old Firm is one of the greatest games of all time. The vibe was indescribable every time.”
Leipzig take on Union Berlin in the DFB Pokal tonight, before facing the same opposition in a league clash this weekend.
Star man Christopher Nkunku is said to be of interest to Manchester United and Italian giants AC Milan and Inter Milan.
Meanwhile, Celtic hero Chris Sutton has admitted the title race between Celtic and Rangers is still on.
Ange Postecoglou’s men hold a six-point advantage and boast superior goal difference heading into the final five games of the Premiership campaign.
But Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Co have yet to visit Parkhead with some tricky top-six games to come, starting with Ross County this weekend at Dingwall.
Rangers beat Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final on Sunday to secure a return to Hampden against Hearts next month.
The Hoops had already won back-to-back league encounters before the loss at the National Stadium.
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