Rangers' 7000-strong fan invasion prompts 'I'll sleep in the academy' quip from RB Leipzig boss

RB Leipzig boss Domenico Tedesco joked he will sleep at the club's academy to escape from Rangers fans who will arrive in Germany for the Europa League semi-final.

It has been reported that around 7,000 Gers fans will be in Leipzig for the first leg of the last-four tie on Thursday night.

The Bundesliga side's manager welcomed the away fans and, speaking at the club's training ground, he said: "First of all we are happy that a lot of Rangers fans will come to the city.

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"They pay the hotels, pay the restaurants, they buy beer, so it is good for the economy of Germany.

"Also, we are living in a really good hotel in the centre and they told me that 200 fans are coming to the hotel so I will sleep here in the academy in the next two days.

"But we are happy, playing at home with a good atmosphere is the best thing that can happen.

"I am happy to play here and I am already happy to play at Ibrox so we have to collect these moments, that's the most important thing in football, to collect moments and situations and we are very happy."

RB Leipzig head coach Domenico Tedesco takes training ahead of the Europa League semi-final first leg against Rangers. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

Rangers will be without strikers Alfredo Morelos and Kemar Roofe through injury, with Fashion Sakala set to lead the line, but Tedesco insists the Light Blues will not be weakened.

He said: "Look, it is the semi-final of the Europa League. If you achieve this target you can be sure that you are a strong team.

"Of course we know that Roofe will miss out and I think they played in the last games with (Joe) Aribo there, as a 10, he can be really strong in the half space, and with Fashion Junior they are strong players with a lot of speed and so for us it is not a big difference who is playing there because everyone that is playing is strong."

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RB Leipzig assistant manager Andreas Hinkel played for Celtic between 2008 and 2011 and will pass on his knowledge of Scottish football to his side.

He said: "We will speak to the team before the training session and speak in detail about Rangers.

"Of course I can say that Scottish teams in general are more physical compared to teams in the German league.

"They have good mentality. It's not easy to play in Scotland.

"But it's not just physical. They have weapons, especially Rangers. They are good on the counter attack as well. They defend strongly too.

"They didn't qualify for the semi finals by chance. They beat some good competitors in this tournament so it's going to be really tough, really hard to get a result."

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