Thursday, January 14, 2010
Maurice Edu and Rangers travel back to New Douglas Park this weekend to square off against Hamilton Academical in Scottish Premier League action.
Edu ended up not featuring for Rangers during last week's Scottish Cup contest versus the Accies, however a slew of injuries to the Glasgow club will most assuredly call for head coach Walter Smith to give Edu some minutes on Saturday.
The teams battled to a 3-3 draw but Rangers bore the brunt of it as star striker Kris Boyd went down with a groin injury and had to be replaced midway through the match.
Boyd is expected to be out for a month, a bitter pill to swallow for Smith who will be missing the striker's 19 goals on the season.
In addition, forward Kenny Miller will be forced to watch this one from the stands as part of his suspension stemming from the red card he received in a match versus Dundee United back on December 30th.
Smith will be buoyed by the news that Spanish midfielder Nacho Novo returns from a thigh injury but will still need Edu and the rest of the Light Blues to step up and fill the void left by Boyd and Miller's absences.
American DaMarcus Beasley stands as another player who can slot in and deliver some goals while Boyd is out however Beasley's nagging thigh injury will keep him out of action another week.
The two clubs will not only face each other for the second time in a week, but also will meet up on Tuesday at Ibrox Stadium as part of their Scottish Cup replay.
Hamilton will be out to show the reigning league champions that last week's hard-fought draw was not an isolated event.
The Accies used a three goal barrage in the final minutes of the first half, including two in stoppage time, to shock Rangers before Miller's second half equalizer ruined the hosts' chance at an upset.
Long-term injuries to Derek Lyle and James Gibson will rule them out for Hamilton while Smith will also be without Pedro Mendes and Steven Naismith in addition to the aforementioned absences.