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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr, 23, 2008

Rangers wracked by injuries for Viola

GLASGOW, April 23 (Reuters) - Rangers have been hit by a series of injuries and suspensions for Thursday's UEFA Cup semi-final first leg at home to Fiorentina. Captain Barry Ferguson and fellow midfielder Kevin Thomson are banned while in-form goalkeeper Allan McGregor is among a long list of casualties for the Scottish Premier League title chasers. Striker Lee McCulloch and midfielder Charlie Adam are out and Steven Naismith and Chris Burke are likely to miss both legs after picking up knee and ankle injuries respectively in Sunday's Scottish Cup semi-final win over St Johnstone. 'Naismith and Burke have no chance of playing on Thursday and I think they will miss our next three games at least,' manager Walter Smith told reporters. The second leg in Florence is on May 1 with the final at the City of Manchester Stadium on May 14. Fiorentina, fourth in Serie A and gunning for a Champions League place next season, have been luckier with injuries with Czech defender Tomas Ujfalusi the only notable absentee because of a thigh problem. Midfielder Marco Donadel is suspended but Cesare Prandelli's side are otherwise in good shape. Romania striker Adrian Mutu was again the inspiration in the quarter-final win over PSV Eindhoven, scoring twice in the away second leg after a lacklustre 1-1 home draw in the first. Winning 2-0 in Eindhoven was a good achievement but defender Dario Dainelli said the Italians could not take it easier in the semi-final just because they were at home second. 'I don't think it changes anything playing away first and at home second. We always go on the field with the same attitude,' he said. 'We are already very focused.' The two sides met in the final of the 1961 European Cup Winners' Cup with Fiorentina winning 4-1 over two legs.

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