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Balogun Talks Up Haaland’s Absence In UEFA Europa League Rangers, Dortmund Tie


February 23, (THEWILL) – Nigeria’s Leon Balogun was on media duty ahead of his side Rangers’ UEFA Europa League match against Borussia Dortmund on Thursday night, indicating that he will be engaged in some way at Ibrox Stadium.

Dortmund were without frontline marksman Erling Haaland as they flew to Glasgow on Wednesday morning, because the Norway forward is still unable to sprint or shoot properly due to a muscle fibre tear.

Last Thursday, Haaland was in the stands as the Bundesliga heavyweights were blasted 4-2 by the Scottish Premiership winners, a game that Balogun also missed owing to fitness concerns.

The Super Eagles’ defender has agreed that the Norwegian’s absence could benefit Rangers, but he had been looking forward to facing one of the finest attackers in the world.

Candidly responding to whether the Norwegian’s absence benefitted the Scottish champions, Balogun said: “Yes and no. I think in this competition you want to compete against the best, he is one of the best at the moment.

“So from that perspective it is a sad thing. But if you look at what he means to Dortmund, then obviously it is a disadvantage to them, it is going to weaken them up front a little bit.

“But then again they have got enough to compensate. Not at the same level probably. But mixed feelings. Definitely not going to complain about it though.”

He also referenced his own injury issues, claiming his injury troubles are behind him and that he is set to make his first appearance for the Light Blues since February 9, when he was replaced after fifteen minutes against Hibernian.