Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Maurice Edu and Rangers wrap up their 2009 with a midweek tussle versus Dundee United on Wednesday at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow.
After making his first appearance of the season as a second half substitute in Rangers' 1-4 win at Hibernian on Sunday, Edu could very well see himself starting at midfielder for head coach Walter Smith.
Injuries to Steven Naismith and Kevin Thomson may see Smith press the California native back into starting duty, a role which Edu flourished in during the final weeks of last season's title run.
Fellow American DaMarcus Beasley continues to be sidelined with a thigh strain and is expected to miss both Wednesday's affair and this weekend's Old Firm match versus Celtic.
Edu's return against the Arabs on Sunday will also pit the former Toronto FC man against United defender Darren Dods whose harsh tackle on Edu resulted in knee surgery for the American in last May's season finale.
Rangers have been making mince meat of their opponents in recent weeks having scored 19 goals in their last five matches, including a 0-3 drubbing of the Tannadice club just two weeks ago where Beasley scored his first Scottish Premier League goal of the season.
Kris Boyd and Kenny Miller have amassed multiple-goal efforts during this run which has also been stimulated by the play of Spanish forward Nacho Novo and the sidelined Beasley.
Since losing to the Glasgow club two weeks ago, the visitors have experienced a change at the top as Craig Levein stepped down as United coach to take the reins of the Scottish national team.
Interim head man Peter Houston will be directing his second match since the transition. Houston oversaw a scoreless draw versus Kilmarnock over the weekend.
Another factor playing into the match is the weather. Scotland has been slammed with snowy and frozen conditions in the last week leaving many fields with unplayable conditions resulting in the postponement of almost all Wednesday SPL matches.
However Officials at Ibrox Stadium maintain that their field is still in good playing condition so the encounter is scheduled to proceed as originally scheduled.
Andy Webster will not be able to factor for United since he is on loan with the club from Rangers while Scott Robertson will also miss for the visitors due to a groin injury.