Rangers are ready to counter Hagi threat

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The Independent Online

Jorg Albertz turned up the heat ahead of Rangers' Champions' League home game with Galatasaray tonight by insisting that their Romanian international Gheorghe Hagi would not get into the Ibrox first-team.

Jorg Albertz turned up the heat ahead of Rangers' Champions' League home game with Galatasaray tonight by insisting that their Romanian international Gheorghe Hagi would not get into the Ibrox first-team.

Hagi returns after a five-game suspension by Uefa, European football's ruling body, was reduced to two matches. He is likely to play a major role for his side, but Albertz insists other players give him more cause for concern.

"So Hagi is available and could be back. So am I," said Rangers' German midfielder. "Of course, he is an outstanding player. I would rather he had a good game in Glasgow and the other 10 in the team had a bad night than the opposite.

"Hagi is a bit like me, though I have worked on what I have got to do defensively - even though it doesn't look like that.

"With Hagi, when others have the ball or when the opposition have possession, he isn't really interested. He wouldn't get away with that sort of thing at Rangers."

Albertz is confident that Rangers can gain revenge for a 3-2 defeat suffered in Istanbul a fortnight ago.

"In the Champions' League, you need to win your home games and we have done that," he said. "We are a bigger team and are stronger and better than we were last season.

"Although we lost in Turkey, I think we have enough to beat them."

Despite Albertz's comments, Hagi insists that he has put in extra training ahead of a match that could be vital to the outcome of Group D.

Another player making a comeback could be the Rangers goalkeeper Stefan Klos. He was back in light training at the weekend and the Ibrox club are desperate to get him back in the side. The German has not played since the defeat in Istanbul because of ankle ligament damage, which was aggravated by a collision in that game. The teenager Mark Brown has deputised well, but Rangers' manager Dick Advocaat failed in an attempt to sign Robert Douglas of Dundee, who is moving to Celtic.

Advocaat has some selection headaches, with his captain Lorenzo Amoruso suspended and Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Michael Mols, Arthur Numan and Allan Johnston all set to miss the game through injury. Rod Wallace, Craig Moore, Neil McCann and Fernando Ricksen have also been ruled out of action.

Although Ronald de Boer, Stefan Klos, Claudio Reyna and Neil McCann are all back in contention, the injury list means players such as Andrei Kanchelskis and Tony Vidmar are hoping for rare starts.

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