JAMES TAVERNIER knows Rangers need nothing short of a miracle when they face off against Bayern Leverkusen on Thursday if they want to progress in the Europa League.

Steven Gerrard’s side trail 3-1 on aggregate going into the second leg of the last 16 tie.

But despite the large deficit, Ibrox captain Tavernier is confident he and his teammates can cause a major upset if they implement their game plan to the best of their ability.

Asked if Leverkusen were the best side he has faced, he said: “I would definitely say they are up there with one of the best. They have great young talent and a great squad, but we have played against a lot of top class teams during our campaign.

“It is a tough test going over there. We are all raring to go, we have been waiting a long time for football to come back so we are really looking forward to it.

“It is going to take a very good performance from ourselves, we are obviously on the back foot.

“We have always done well in European football, we’ve had a great pre-season, we’ve had good tests against Lyon and Nice.

“It has been an incredible journey we’ve been on over the last season into this season.

“The boundaries that we’ve overcome, the teams that we’ve overcome, so that gives us great belief and great confidence that when we come across these giants in European football that we can go toe to toe with them.

“I am delighted that we have the opportunity to actually finish it off and that is probably the most important thing if we can finish it off and we are looking forward to it.”

Rangers will be tasked with stopping Leverkusen’s star man Kai Havertz when they travel to the Bay Arena on Thursday.

The 21-year-old has been heavily linked with a £90million move to Chelsea, but it is understood he will remain with his Bundesliga side until their Europa League campaign comes to an end.

Tav hopes that will be on Thursday night and is relishing the opportunity to test himself against the German superstar.

He continued: “I obviously think he is a very young gifted footballer. He’s shown his qualities and he’s obviously shown the rest of the world the abilities he has and he has caught the interest of big name clubs.

“You always want to play against the best players, I hope he stays, we can play against him and then it is one of those nights where you are playing the best and you want to stand up against it.

“Obviously I watched the first football that kicked off during this crazy time.

“I watched them progress and obviously they have great talent, I don’t know if they will lose their players before we play them.”

Another man who Tavernier hopes will be on the pitch this week is Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos.

The Colombian was influential for the Ibrox side in European competition last term after netting 14 goals in 16 games.

Tavernier has noted the speculation linking the 24-year-old with a move away from Ibrox this summer, but he hopes he can once again spear head the Light Blues attack as they embark on the Europa League.

He added: “Alfredo has been a great player I have played with over the past few years.

“He’s come on leaps and bounds with his goals and what he has contributed to the team and we hope we can keep him for that game.

“Obviously there is speculation with him you know about a transfer away from this place but that is the people above who deal with all that stuff.

“He has been a great asset for us.”