Injured Gascoigne likely to miss Norway trip

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The Independent Online
Football

Paul Gascoigne is almost certain to be ruled out of England's friendly international in Norway next week, after being injured in Rangers' 2-1 victory over Motherwell at Ibrox last night.

Gascoigne, who had scored the Scottish champions' first goal, pulled up in the 58th minute, appearing to pull a thigh muscle, and was helped off the field. He is also deemed doubtful for Rangers' next Champions' League match, against Juventus on 18 October.

The playmaker was due to miss the start of England's build-up to the Norway game anyway, after Terry Venables agreed to a request from the Rangers manager, Walter Smith, to have him available for Saturday's game at Aberdeen.

Philippe Albert, a key figure in Newcastle's League campaign last season, will make his comeback in tonight's Coca-Cola Cup second round, second leg against Bristol City at St James' Park.

The Belgian international has not played a competitive match for the Magpies since he picked up a knee injury just before Christmas. Newcastle - 5-0 up from the first leg - will be without the injured Peter Beardsley and David Ginola.

Beardsley is already out of England's game with Norway while the Newcastle manager, Kevin Keegan, says Ginola is "struggling" to play for France in their European Championship qualifier with Romania. The teenage striker, Paul Brayson, will be at least on the bench for the first time after scoring more than 50 goals for the juniors and reserves last season.

Paul Warhurst could make his first start of the season after recovering from a broken leg as Blackburn hope to improve on a 3-2 advantage at home to Swindon. Bobby Mimms stands in for goalkeeper Tim Flowers, who saved a late penalty from Paul Bodin in the first leg, with the Australian Frank Talia on the bench. Ironically, Talia this week returned from a month's loan at Swindon, where he started five games.

Nottingham Forest could also be without their top scorer Bryan Roy, who has a thigh strain, as Forest, the only unbeaten side in the Premiership, attempt to overturn a 3-2 deficit against Bradford City at the City Ground.

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