Thursday, August 12, 2010
Maurice Edu and Rangers open their Scottish Premier League campaign at home versus Kilmarnock while Dominic Cervi and Celtic travel to Inverness.
Rangers - Kilmarnock
Maurice Edu's third season at Rangers gets underway on Saturday at Ibrox Stadium when the two-time defending SPL champions host Kilmarnock.
Edu started and went the distance for the United States national team in Tuesday's 0-2 loss to Brazil, but should still be expected to either receive a start from head coach Walter Smith or be the first option off the bench as a substitute.
Unlike last season when Rangers's roster was relatively unchanged from its 2008-2009 championship season, this year's offseason saw many more changes most of which were player departures.
Gone from the Light Blues is last year's SPL leading scorer Kris Boyd along with Nacho Novo, Steven Smith, Danny Wilson, Kevin Thomson and fellow American DaMarcus Beasley.
Smith still has time to bring in other players however with the club's current financial situations, he will be looking to do some bargain shopping. Stoke City's James Beattie has been rumored to join the Glasgow club along with Portsmouth striker Tommy Smith and Rapid Vienna's Nikica Jelavic.
Carrying a thin roster is a precarious position for any SPL team so Smith will hope to see players like Edu stay healthy the entire season and will also be leaning on striker to continue his fine play from last season when he tallied 18 goals.
The visitors, who finished 10th last season, will be looking to spoil the party at Ibrox as Rangers will unfurl their league title banner.
Killie head coach Mixu Paatelainen has three new additions of his own including Portuguese forward David Silva, Mahamadou Sissoko and Ben Gordon.
Rangers will be without the suspended Lee McCulloch and the injured Andy Webster while Killie will be missing Alan Combe and Mehdi Taouil due to injuries.
Dominic Cervi will be watching from the bench as the backup goalkeeper when Celtic open their SPL campaign at Inverness.