Monday, November 1, 2010

Valencia v Rangers

Valencia    v    Rangers

    Champions League
    Venue: Estadio Mestalla Date: 2 November Kick-off: 1945 GMT
    Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Scotland; text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles

    Rangers captain David Weir tussles with Valencia's Aritz Aduriz
    Rangers and Valencia drew 1-1 at Ibrox in October.

    Rangers midfielder Maurice Edu rates his own chances of playing in Tuesday's Champions League game against Valencia as 50-50.

    The American was forced off with a calf injury during Saturday's 1-1 Scottish Premier League draw with Inverness.

    Vladimir Weiss is a doubt after he also came off in the second half of that match with a heel problem.

    Edu, Weiss and forward Kyle Lafferty all sat out of Monday's training session at the Mestalla Stadium.

    Valencia, who were held to a 1-1 draw at home to La Liga's bottom side Real Zaragoza on Saturday, welcome back right-back Miguel and midfielder Joaquin to their squad.

    Edu has played in all three of Rangers' Group C matches so far, scoring a goal for each side when Valencia visited Ibrox on 20 October.

    Having been on the bench at the weekend, Steven Whittaker and Steven Naismith are expected to return within a 4-5-1 formation, which is favoured by manager Walter Smith on their European travels.

    Now we're in a position where we can qualify for the last 16, and fingers crossed we can get there

    Rangers midfielder Maurice Edu

    Weiss and Lafferty would have been favourites to make way for the pair but the loss of Edu would present a problem in central midfield.

    With a small squad at Smith's disposal, there is no obvious defensive-minded partner for holding player Lee McCulloch.

    Rangers are in second place in Group C behind Manchester United at the half-way stage with five points having beaten Bursaspor and taken a point each from Valencia and their visit to Old Trafford.

    And Edu accepts his team are well placed to make a push for the knock-out stages of the competition.

    "It would be naive to look too far ahead as the Champions League includes the best teams in the world," said Edu.

    "The Europa League was our goal coming into the competition, I think.

    "Now we're in a position where we can qualify for the last 16, and fingers crossed we can get there."

    Rangers were the better side the last time they faced Valencia at Ibrox, and should have converted chances to give them the victory.

    But the USA international thinks the La Liga outfit will be a different proposition on home soil.

    "They're playing at home, and after not getting the win at Ibrox they must be under more pressure to get three points in front of their own fans," said Edu.

    "But it's also a big game for us and and we're looking to get something out of it.

    "We started of the campaign in a positive way in Manchester, and the win against Bursaspor obviously gave us more confidence."

    By contrast, Valencia have struggled since beginning their domestic season well, and have won just one of their last five games in all competitions, keeping only one clean sheet in their last seven outings.

    Rangers (from): McGregor, Weir, Broadfoot, Bougherra, Whittaker, Papac, McCulloch, Edu, Davis, Weiss, Naismith, Lafferty, Miller, Foster, Fleck, Little, Hutton, Alexander.

    Potenshöjande medel - köp cialis receptfritt

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