Darcheville confident he can make remarkable recovery

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The Independent Football

Rangers' Jean-Claude Darcheville will have a fitness test this morning to ascertain whether he has made a remarkable recovery from injury so that he can face Lyons in the Champions League this evening. The French striker, who landed in France yesterday lunchtime along with his team-mates rated his chances at "50-50".

Considering that Darcheville lasted just 10 minutes as a substitute against Motherwell on Saturday before being felled with a hamstring strain, even those odds are encouraging. His manager, Walter Smith, was so concerned about his well-being that he said the player would be out for a fortnight at least.

Smith will want to give Darcheville every opportunity to recover. The forward has played as a lone striker in each of Rangers' European matches this season, qualifiers included, and excelled. If Darcheville fails to make it, his place will probably go to his compatriot Daniel Cousin.

Rangers came from behind to win their first match in Group E, against Stuttgart, the German champions, while Lyons, champions of France six years in a row, lost to Barcelona. In a group where any point is a good one, Smith describes tonight's game as another tough assignment among many. "Lyons are an excellent side, there is no doubt," he said. "They have been one of the most consistent sides in Europe over the last five or six years. They have vast European experience."

While Rangers stuttered to a 1-1 weekend draw at Motherwell, Lyons beat Lens 3-0 to remain top of Ligue 1, with both their first-choice strikers, Sidney Govou and Karim Benzema, rested, although Benzema appeared as a substitute and scored.

Rangers (possible 4-1-4-1): McGregor; Hutton, Cuellar, Weir, Papac; Hemdani; Whittaker, Ferguson, Thomson, Adam; Darcheville.

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