DAVID SMITH - Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Maurice Edu and Rangers will try to hold off Spanish team Valencia on their trip to the Iberian peninsula, while injured Jermaine Jones will watch from afar as Schalke try to secure their place against Hapoel Tel-Aviv.
Valencia CF - Rangers Glasgow
Maurice Edu will hope see time on the field for Rangers on Tuesday night when they head to Valencia, with their hopes of reaching the knockout round on the line.
Edu earned Rangers a draw with Inverness in Scottish Premier League play over the weekend with a first-half goal, but was forced out of the game at halftime with a calf injury that could threaten his participation on Tuesday in Spain.
Edu did make the trip with the team, however is rated at 50/50 and will require a late fitness test to judge whether he will be available to take the field.
The encounter with the current fourth-place team in La Liga is of utmost importance to Rangers' hopes of reaching the knockout round, as they hold a narrow one-point lead over their Spanish counterparts in second place, with neither team rated as likely to catch leaders Manchester United in the standings.
Valencia have been the very definition of inconsistency in recent weeks, failing to win more than two straight games since one month ago. Their strong start to the Spanish season has still left them in fourth place despite their recent indifference, and they will look to use the home-field advantage to their benefit as they try to put themselves in position to make the final 16 of the competition.
In addition to questions over Edu's health, Rangers coach Walter Smith could also be without starter Vladímir Weiss as the Slovak international recovers from a heel injury also suffered in the weekend's league game.
Additionally, James Beattie is out for several weeks after aggravating a hip problem one week before against Celtic, and Andy Webster also missed the trip while he recovers from a groin problem.
Valencia have seen several players return to the field over the last two weeks since the first meeting between the two teams, a 1-1 draw in Ibrox, however will be missing César Sánchez to a hamstring pull and Sofiane Feghouli to torn adductor muscle.
Jermaine Jones is out with an ankle injury suffered in last week's DFB Cup match, and will not suit up for Schalke as they head east to take on Hapoel Tel-Aviv in a game vital to their hopes of advancing to the knockout round.
Oguchi Onyewu is not included in AC Milan's 25-man squad for the Group Stage and will not participate when they host Real Madrid on Wednesday.