Football: McCoist ready to play

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The Independent Online
STILL sulking after their premature ejection from the European Cup in Sofia on Wednesday, Rangers return to the mundane reality of Premier Division football today, in the humble surroundings of Stark's Park, Kirkcaldy, writes Rupert Metcalf.

Their stuttering start to the season has left the Ibrox club in sixth place in the league, and their fans will be delighted if they see Ally McCoist back in action against Raith Rovers, five months after he broke his leg on international duty in Lisbon. 'If he (Ally) feels confident, he'll play. I will leave it up to him,' Walter Smith, the Rangers manager, said. However, the injury list is still long: Andy Goram and Dave Robertson are definitely out while Stuart McCall and Dave McPherson are very doubtful.

The day's top match is at Fir Park, where Motherwell, in second place, face the leaders, Aberdeen. The Dons will be without Brian Grant and Scott Booth, but Alex McLeish and Duncan Shearer - both rested against Valur on Wednesday - are available. Motherwell, who led the table for four weeks, hope to have their experienced midfielder, Ian Angus, back after missing one game with a calf injury, and may also recall Doug Arnott.

Hearts, who travel to Dundee, will be without their captain, Craig Levein, for at least a month. The international defender suffered a depressed fracture of the cheekbone after colliding with his goalkeeper, Henry Smith, against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.

Tommy Burns, the Kilmarnock manager, who steered his side to success at Rangers in August, returns to Glasgow for an encounter with his former club, Celtic.

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