Football: Israelis put Rangers on full alert

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RANGERS' BIG-MONEY buys were given a warning yesterday that they will have to earn the right to a place in the side, as the coach Dick Advocaat asserted that reputations count for nothing.

Colin Hendry, Arthur Numan and Gabriel Amato are all excluded for tonight's Uefa Cup first round first leg game at Beitar Jerusalem. The German midfielder Jorg Albertz is unlikely to start due to poor form - and that could mean a chance for the likes of Craig Moore, Tony Vidmar, Ian Ferguson and Charlie Miller.

"I am not interested in someone's reputation. That doesn't count for me. What counts is watching a player, seeing what he is doing. That's what matters," Advocaat said. The Dutch coach, who spent pounds 27m in the summer transfer market, claims the Israeli champions are a better side than PAOK Salonika, the Greek side beaten by his team in the qualifying round. "Beitar are a good team," he added. "It will be difficult but our plan must be to try and score a goal here."

Beitar's influential Hungarian midfielder Stefan Salloi is unlikely to play after a row with coach Dror Kashtan. Salloi has been suspended from training after making it clear he would prefer a more forward role.

A positive result for Celtic tonight at Portugal's Vitoria Guimaraes in the same tournament will ease the pressure on Jozef Venglos, the club's coach, after a bad start to the season. He will have to manage without the Norwegian striker Harald Brattbakk, who was struck down by flu on Sunday. That should see a recall for Darren Jackson, with Tom Boyd, Henrik Larsson and Craig Burley all expected to shake off minor knocks to play.

Vitoria are also missing key personnel with the Brazilian Marcio Theodore - one of half a dozen in their ranks - absent from a defence that conceded less goals than any other team in Portugal last year, and doubts over Riva and Paulo Fonseca. But, with two more Brazilians, Gilmar and Edmilson, in attack, and the veteran former Portuguese international playmaker Vitor Paneira directing operations from midfield, they will still present a formidable threat to a Celtic side that still has to find its form.

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