After Ferguson sustained a knock to his ankle during the 3-1 Old Firm win against Celtic on Saturday, his manager, Alex McLeish, said it was unlikely the midfielder would feature in tonight's third qualifying round, second leg. "But we know what Barry is like," McLeish added yesterday. "He doesn't like to miss these games. I'd back him to play."
Rangers hold a 2-1 advantage from the first leg a fortnight ago and are odds-on favourites to progress to the Champions' League proper. Reaching that stage would provide a welcome windfall for the Scottish champions.
"We have nothing to lose and everything to gain," said Temuri Ketsbaia, the Famagusta player-coach, formerly of Newcastle United and Dundee.
Ketsbaia's preparations have suffered serial setbacks. He is injured, while one of his key midfielders, Georgi Kinkladze, has not travelled to Glasgow because he is hoping for a move to a Russian club, Rubin-Kazan. "I am not interested in players who have no wish to play for Anorthosis," Ketsbaia said.
Ketsbaia has also been angered that his team were scheduled by the Cyprus football federation to play at the weekend in a domestic cup match they eventually lost on penalties after extra time. The recent Helios Airways disaster, in which 121 people died, is also still casting its shadow. Famagusta's captain, Nikos Nicolaou, who lost four relatives in the crash, returns to action tonight following compassionate leave. Ibrox will observe a minute's silence before the kick-off.
Rangers (probable, 4-3-3): Waterreus; Pierre-Fanfan, Andrews, Rodriguez, Ball; Ricksen, Ferguson, Murray; Novo, Prso, Buffel.
Anorthosis Famagusta (probable, 4-4-2): Georgallides; Poursaitidis, Louka, Xenidis, Markou; Maragos, Haber, Nikolaou, Tsolakides; Tsitaishvili, Frousos.
Referee: V Ivanov (Russia).
* Celtic's captain, Neil Lennon, who received an one-match ban for being sent off at the end of Saturday's Old Firm derby, faces an additional five-match ban for barging referee Stuart Dougal after the game, for which he has since apologised. The Scottish Football Association's disciplinary committee will meet on 20 September to adjudicate.Reuse content