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Dignity and dosh at stake for Rangers

Rangers v Sevilla
Rangers 4-1 at home to Sevilla in the first leg at Ibrox

By John Barnes

Rangers are preparing to end their dismal Champions League campaign on a high note against Group G leaders Sevilla.

The Glasgow side will earn about 7.9m euros from this season's European adventures after losing all three home games and earning two draws away from home.

A win against Sevilla would boost their income by a further 800,000 euros, while a draw will reap 400,000 euros.

Former Rangers captain Craig Paterson insists a positive result in Spain would help restore some pride and inject some much-needed additional revenue into the coffers at the cash-strapped club.

"Its about trying to finish on a high," said Paterson.

"There's also the financial implications of picking up money for the club. That would be an extra bonus particularly at the moment as every penny is a prisoner.

I certainly think Rangers will take something out of the match but the campaign as a whole has not been what Walter Smith and the players would have been looking for

Former Rangers defender Craig Paterson

"It's been an unsuccessful campaign and the home form has killed Rangers."

A 4-1 defeat at home by Sevilla and a 2-0 loss to German outfit Stuttgart - added to the embarrassment of a crushing defeat in Glasgow by relative minnows Unirea Urziceni was contradicted by strong performances on the road.

But Paterson believes Wednesday's encounter in Spain could provide some salvation for Walter Smith's side and allow them to focus on the domestic challenges ahead.

"Away from home they look a lot more comfortable," said Paterson.

"Sitting in, making themselves difficult to score against, then trying to spring forward on the break.

"I think it'll be a similar type of performance on Wednesday night.

"I certainly think Rangers will take something out of the match but the campaign as a whole has not been what Walter Smith and the players would have been looking for."

With Kris Boyd doubtful after suffering a thigh strain in the 3-1 win over Falkirk on Saturday, Paterson says it may benefit Rangers to ensure the striker is fit for Saturday's Scottish Premier League fixture against St Johnstone.

"It might work leaving Kris Boyd out," said Paterson.

Walter Smith
Walter Smith could benefit from some extra Champions League income

"Every time they've gone looking to score goals and win games in this competition playing with two strikers, they've been opened up by the opposition and lost four goals on two occasions.

"It might suit Kris Boyd to wait for the weekend and Walter Smith to play with one up front and go with the formation that's stood him in good stead over the last two or three years in Europe; 4-1-4-1.

"That's the way they have to play. They have to be dogged, determined and then when they do create any opportunities or set pieces they have to look to pick off Sevilla when they can.

"But it's a big ask against a quality team."

The Spanish outfit could choose to rest some of their key players who are carrying injuries, having already secured their place in the last 16 of the Champions League and with an all-important La Liga fixture looming at the weekend.

Paterson believes Sevilla manager Manolo Jimenez would be right to take a more relaxed approach to the match, but finishing top of Group G is within the grasp of the Rojiblancos.

"I'm not too sure how up for the game Sevilla will be," he said.

"They're in a position where they've qualified for the next stage and are quite entitled to leave players out.

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"They play Sporting Gijon at the weekend who are seventh in La Liga - Sevilla are fourth - so it's a big game for them.

"Luis Fabiano is injured and I would imagine their manager may consider leaving out Frederic Kanoute with a view to playing him in the league fixture.

"Earlier in the campaign when they played Rangers they played all their big-hitters and they had Real Madrid the following week, whom they beat. So that's the kind of quality they're up against.

"It's better for Rangers if Sevilla do play everybody with a view to guaranteeing finishing top of the group.

"Then if Rangers can go there, produce a stuffy away performance and take something from it, they might get a lot more credit."



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see also
Gers boss downcast on Euro future
09 Dec 09 |  Europe
Sevilla 1-0 Rangers
09 Dec 09 |  Europe
Boyd contract talks cheer McCoist
08 Dec 09 |  Rangers
Rangers 1-4 Sevilla
29 Sep 09 |  Europe


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