Rangers FC manager Walter Smith stressed the importance of picking up points at Ibrox as the Scottish champions welcome in-form Sevilla FC looking to build on a 1-1 draw at VfB Stuttgart.
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Rangers FC manager Walter Smith stressed the importance of picking up points at home as the Scottish champions welcome in-form Sevilla FC to Ibrox looking to build on a creditable 1-1 draw at VfB Stuttgart on Matchday 1. Sevilla kicked off their Group G campaign with a 2-0 win at home to FC Unirea Urziceni and have won four straight in the Liga, but coach Manuel Jiménez will not be letting his side rest on their laurels. "Our form counts for nothing," he said. "We won't go into the match overconfident."
Walter Smith, Rangers manager
We have a doubt over Saša Papac and Steve Davis, but we're hopeful both will be OK. They both missed our weekend game and that gives us an element of doubt about whether they will make it. Pedro Mendes and Steve Davis are both important players for us and it will be good to have them back. Sevilla are a good side. The strength of Spanish football is high and not just at the top; underneath them there are a lot of good teams, Sevilla being one of them. They have a lot of good players. When the draw was made I said I considered them to be favourites. We are at home and if we have any thoughts of progressing then we have to take advantage of our home games. We are hopeful we can get a win.
Manuel Jiménez, Sevilla coach
We know all about Rangers. They are the biggest Scottish team in Europe. They have a significant history and they have won more trophies than anyone else in Scotland. This will not be an easy task. They relate to their fans and Scottish, English or Irish clubs always put so much effort in and it will be hard, but we have to try and withstand the sort of onslaught we expect tomorrow. No two games are the same. We are on a good run, but we cannot relax for one minute. Our form counts for nothing and we won't go into the match overconfident. I'm not thinking about playing Real Madrid next weekend. For me they don't exist. As soon as this challenge is over, I'll think about Real Madrid. I respect Rangers' history, stadium and supporters, and most of all I have got huge respect for Walter Smith.
26/09/09 Rangers 0-0 Aberdeen FC
• It was Rangers' third consecutive Premier League goalless draw and it is now 293 minutes since their last league goal, their longest scoreless run in 15 years. It was also Rangers' third successive draw in all competitions – the longest they had gone without a win since April/May 2008.
• Smith's side are unbeaten in all competitions since their extra-time Scottish League Cup final defeat by Celtic FC on 15 March – a run of 20 matches.
26/09/09 Athletic Club0-4 Sevilla
(Renato 5, Negredo 21, Kanouté 45, Navas 75)
• Sevilla have won four Liga games in a row and five successive matches in all competitions.
• Luis Fabiano has scored six goals in seven appearances this season for club and country, including five in his last five outings.
Out: Kirk Broadfoot (foot), Maurice Edu (knee), Kyle Lafferty (knee)
Doubtful: Saša Papac (hamstring), Steven Davis (flu)
Misses next match if booked: none
Out: Tom De Mul (left adductor), Aldo Duscher (back), Federico Fazio (left ankle sprain), Diego Perotti (achilles)
Doubtful: Ndri Romaric (knee ligaments)
Misses next match if booked: none
• The teams' only previous meeting – and the only time Sevilla have faced opponents from Scotland – came in the 1962/63 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round. Rangers won 4-0 at home and survived a second-leg scare in Spain, where Sevilla won 2-0.
• Rangers have not won in four home matches against Spanish sides, drawing three and losing the other.
• Sevilla have fond memories of Glasgow having lifted the 2007 UEFA Cup at Hampden Park with victory on penalties against Liga rivals RCD Espanyol following a 2-2 draw after extra time. Sevilla's goals were scored by Adriano and Frédéric Kanouté, while Andrés Palop made three saves in the shoot-out.
Did you know?
Former manager Jock Wallace, who in 1976 and 1978 guided Rangers to the treble of league title, Scottish FA Cup and League Cup, was Sevilla coach between 1986 and 1987.