Rangers prepare for Champions League tie with CSKA

Glasgow Rangers arrived in Moscow on Sunday ahead of their Champions League clash with CSKA.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:08 IST
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Glasgow Rangers arrived in Moscow on Sunday ahead of their Champions League clash with CSKA. Manager Alex McLeish has a number of injury worries - but he is in charge of a club that has enjoyed its previous trips to Russia. In their only two visits, Rangers have scored eleven goals. However, the Rangers have injury worries too. Dado Prso - their new acquisition from Monaco - suffered an ankle injury in the game at Pittodrie (Aberdeen's home ground) but is expected to start up front. Peter Lovenkrands also picked up a knock - but may not be so fortunate. And 20-year-old winger Chris Burke probably won't be risked after fainting during Saturday's match. So much for the well-being of the players - the health of the club in general could be much-improved by victory over the two legs - and progress to the group stages. "We want to do it for football prestige. That is the player's motivation. That is my motivation. It is prestige as far as we are concerned. And it would be good if it helped the club financially, it would be fine if it helps me to strengthen the squad, then even better," said Alex McLeish, manager, Glasgow Rangers. CSKA have already played 18 games of their new domestic campaign - they should be functioning smoothly as opposed to the Scots, who will still be shaking off summer rust. McLeish can take heart after studying video footage of CSKA's goalless draw at Azerbaijan outfit Neftchi Baku in the previous round. He will also have taken on board the way Neftchi had frustrated CSKA in the return leg, which also remained goalless until late on, with the home side eventually coming out on top 2-0. They were less than impressive over the two legs - but McLeish won't be underestimating CSKA. "They are a technical team. They pass it, they want to pass it and they play a fast game. They press. So we will have to be quick with the use of the ball," said McLeish. Unlike Rangers, who posted record losses last year, the Russians have been able to spend heavily on new players after Roman Abramovich's oil company agreed a 30 million pound sponsorship deal. But trips to Russia have never worried Rangers before. They've scored 11 goals in their only two visits to Russia - four against Dynamo Moscow three years ago in the UEFA Cup and seven against Alania Vladikavkaz at the same stage of the Champions League in 1996. (AP)