Thursday, October 14, 2010
With his international duties done, Maurice Edu will hop back across the Atlantic and join up with his Rangers teammates when they face Motherwell at Ibrox Stadium on Saturday afternoon in Glasgow.
Although US head coach Bob Bradley experimented with Edu at central defender in the US' 2-2 draw with Poland last weekend, Rangers boss Walter Smith will assuredly place the Californian back at his normal position of central midfielder against the Steelmen.
The Light Blues are off to an excellent start in the Scottish Premier League having not conceded any points through their first seven matches.
The high level of play found at Ibrox this season has manifested itself on the international level as several of the players starred for their respective national teams during various Euro 2010 qualifiers.
Steven Naismith tallied a goal against reigning European and World Cup champions Spain in midweek while Kyle Lafferty heroically rescued Northern Ireland from what would have been a humiliating loss to the Faroe Islands with a late goal in a 1-1 draw.
Lafferty is expected to take the place up top at striker on Saturday in light of Nikica Jelavic's ankle ligament injury suffered two weeks ago at Hearts which will keep the Croatioan out of action for three months.
Kenny Miller will join Lafferty at forward and look to add to his jaw-dropping total of ten goals on the campaign.
Motherwell arrive into Ibrox this weekend playing some very good soccer and are paced by Scottish Under-21 star Jamie Murphy.
The sprouting forward has scored three goals this season and will be a handful for Edu and company on the defensive end.
Saturday's visitors are also unbeaten in their last four matches and sit in a very solid third place in the SPL standings with 13 points.
In addition to Jelavic, Rangers will be without suspended starting goalkeeper Allan McGregor. The Scottish international netminder will be replaced with reserve Neil Alexander. Lee McColluch may also miss due to a groin injury.
Motherwell could have a full squad available however there will be gameday decision on Esteban Casagolda, Marc Fitzpatrick and Shaun Hutchison.