Football: Redknapp opts for new strike force

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The Independent Online
HARRY REDKNAPP, the West Ham manager, is likely to field his exciting new attacking partnership against the Dutch team Heerenveen in their Intertoto Cup fourth round, first leg tie at Upton Park tonight, as the Hammers continue their campaign to win a place in this season's Uefa Cup.

Paulo Wanchope, the Costa Rican signed from Derby County, has now been granted a new work permit while Italy's Paolo Di Canio has recovered from a shin injury picked up against FC Jokerit on Saturday.

With Paul Kitson suffering from flu and Ian Wright struggling with a knee injury, the eagerly anticipated pairing of Wanchope and Di Canio will have the opportunity to play together for the first time.

Redknapp said: "Wanchope will start. We've got his permit through and he's ready to go. Di Canio will be fit. We are still a couple of players down but preparations haven't gone too badly."

The Cameroon international midfielder Marc-Vivien Foe is still missing after a bout of malaria. He has returned to training this week but is not ready to play. The defender Ian Pearce, however, could find himself as a substitute after playing in a reserve friendly against Grays on Monday night.

If West Ham beat Heerenveen they will move to within one game of a Uefa Cup place and Redknapp said: "It's been different playing competitive matches so early in the season. It hasn't been easy but we're in there now and we're in it to win it. We want a good result but it won't be an easy ride."

Meanwhile, the West Ham full-back Stan Lazaridis could complete a pounds 1.5m move to Birmingham today. The clubs have agreed a fee but the player's personal terms have still to be settled.

Two Englishmen abroad will seek to drag Scotland's standing in European football to an even lower level in the backwoods of Finland tonight.

Exile Keith Armstrong, the coach of Haka, and the former Manchester United player David Wilson, believe their side can end Rangers' Champions League campaign if they win tonight's second-qualifying round, first-leg match. "We are David and they are Goliath," Armstrong said. "It may well be a boring, tight game which comes down to one mistake."

Rangers struggled to beat Shelbourne in the Uefa Cup a year ago before they retrieved a three-goal deficit to win 5-3. "We are a better team than that now," the Rangers coach, Advocaat said.

Rangers (probable): Klos; Wilson, Amoruso, Moore, Numan; Reyna, van Bronckhorst, Albertz, McCann; Wallace, Mols.

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