Rangers FC believe they will have Ronald de Boer fit to take part in the second leg of their UEFA Cup fourth-round tie away to Feyenoord on Thursday.
Rangers FC are hopeful they will have lucky mascot Ronald de Boer fit to take part in the second leg of their UEFA Cup fourth-round tie away to Feyenoord on Thursday.
De Boer, formerly with AFC Ajax, has never lost at the Feijenoord Stadion against Feyenoord and he aims to protect that record this evening after missing Rangers' last three matches with a foot injury he picked up on while on international duty.
There is less optimism about the prospects of former Feyenoord favourite Bert Konterman playing. The central defender is still struggling to shake off the effects of a knock to his foot picked up in the first leg and trained separately from the squad on Wednesday. A viral infection threatens a likely substitute's role for a third Dutchman, Michael Mols.
Billy Dodds looks set to start in attack after scoring a hat-trick in the 6-0 victory over Forfar Athletic FC in the Scottish Cup last weekend. Manager Alex McLeish is definitely without Fernando Ricksen through suspension.
Battle of Britain
Rangers would love to get through and book themselves a possible meeting with Leeds United AFC, a repeat of their 1992 European Champion Clubs' Cup encounter which the Glasgow side won 4-2 on aggregate, but to do that they have to score at least once and avoid defeat after a 1-1 first-leg draw at Ibrox.
For Feyenoord it is a vital game coming just a few days before they face title rivals Ajax and Bert van Marwijck and his team find themselves under increasing pressure. Last week they slipped to third in the table behind the Amsterdam club and PSV Eindhoven after losing to FC Twente - it was their second league defeat in a row. The coach, who is without Jon Dahl Tomasson through suspension, said: "This will be a week with finals - Thursday against Rangers and on Sunday against league leaders Ajax."
'A tough conversation'
"After the disappointing result against FC Twente I had a tough conversation with my players, where everyone told me what bothered them. It seems like everything is clear now and everyone knows exactly what they are expected to do. It will be a difficult match against Rangers and it will be impossible to aim for a goalless draw. So we will try to play our game as we did in Scotland. We will try to win this match and reach the quarter-finals, but everything is based on a well-organised defence."
To compensate for Tomasson's absence, Van Marwijck is likely to call on Shinji Ono, Feyenoord's first-leg goalscorer, to play alongside Pierre Van Hooijdonk in attack.