Salenko poised for Rangers

Scottish Football
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The Independent Online
Scottish Football

Rangers will be without Paul Gascoigne, Brian Laudrup, Trevor Steven and Ian Ferguson for their home game against Kilmarnock today while Mark Hateley is rated very doubtful.

Oleg Salenko, the Russian striker who was signed for pounds 2m from Valencia, could make his debut at some stage during the afternoon when Rangers unfurl the championship flag for the seventh time.

"It's traditionally a big day for the club at the start of the season," Walter Smith, the Rangers manager said. "We must have the right attitude because two seasons ago Kilmarnock came here early in the campaign and beat us 2-1."

Celtic go to Raith with Andreas Thom ready for his premier debut and a late decision required on John Hughes who took a knock in last week's win at Ayr.

Partick Thistle, the subject of a takeover bid by a group of Asian businessmen in Glasgow, begin the season under their new manager, Murdo MacLeod, determined to try to avoid yet another survival scramble. MacLeod faces his old club, Hibernian, at Firhill.