PREVIEW: RANGERS - HAMILTON ACADEMICAL
EXTRA TIME
Monday, January 18, 2010
Maurice Edu and Rangers square off against Hamilton Academical for the third time in 11 days on Tuesday evening at Ibrox Stadium in a Scottish Cup fourth round replay.

Edu is likely to start at midfielder for the Light Blues who drew with Hamilton 3-3 back on January 3rd to force the replay.

Sandwiched in between the two Cup matches was Saturday's league contest which was played at New Douglas Park and saw Rangers grind out a 0-1 victory.

Saturday's win also saw Edu go 90 minutes for the first time this season much to the delight of head coach Walter Smith. The California native anchored the midfield and disrupted the Accies' attack all afternoon long thus showing that the knee injury that kept Edu out seven months is no longer a factor.

A similar effort on Tuesday will be on Smith's wish list in hopes of seeing his squad take the next step to claiming their third Cup title in a row.

American DaMarcus Beasley's thigh strain will keep him sidelined for Tuesday's affair but a midweek contest next week at St. Mirren looms as the possible return date for the winger.

Rangers will be glad to see two faces return to the injury depleted squad as both Kenny Miller and Lee McCulloch are back in tow after serving suspensions over the weekend.

Star striker Kris Boyd remains out until February due to a groin injury and Pedro Mendes is also doubtful even though the Portuguese midfielder has recently returned to training.

Defender Madjid Bougherra is also away on duty with the Algerian national team at the African Cup of Nations.

In addition to the injury woes, several off the field distractions have cropped up in the last few days for the Light Blues.

Goalkeeper Allan McGregor is being investigated on claims of sexually assaulting a woman while youngsters Danny Wilson and John Fleck both turned down new contract offers from the Glasgow club to explore playing opportunities in England.

With the hosts facing a myriad of injuries and experiencing some internal strife, Hamilton will look to take advantage as a relatively healthy squad makes the quick trip up to Glasgow with only long term injurees Derek Lyle and James Gibson scheduled to miss.
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