Laudrup to lead Rangers against Ajax

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The Independent Online
Brian Laudrup will captain Rangers in their European Champions' League match against Ajax in Glasgow tonight.

Walter Smith's selection options have been stripped to the bone with defenders Scott Wilson, just 19, and 20-year-old Greg Shields set to face Patrick Kluivert and company at Ibrox.

Laudrup will captain a club side for the first time in his illustrious career as Rangers desperately strive for their first points in the competition. "It will be a tremendous honour for me to captain Rangers and follow some of the great names like John Greig and Richard Gough," the 27-year-old Laudrup said.

Smith has four top players suspended - Paul Gascoigne, Richard Gough and defenders Craig Moore and Alex Cleland - while Alan McLaren, Trevor Steven, Stuart McCall, Gordon Durie, Gary Bollan, Ian Ferguson and John Brown are all injured. Goalkeeper Andy Goram is also not fit, so Dutchman Theo Snelders deputises again.

The Ajax manager, Louis Van Gaal, also has selection worries, but Kluivert is back after missing the first match against Rangers. With Auxerre and Grasshopper Zurich meeting in Switzerland, Ajax need three points to be sure of staying in pole position for the last eight.

"We have come to win but probably I would be content with a draw, it depends on the game," said Van Gaal, who still has doubts over Winston Bogarde, Frank de Boer and Tijani Babangida. Dani, who scored twice a fortnight ago, has been left out.