Sporting CP vs. Rangers  2 - 2

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Rangers to take no chances

16 February 2011 23:15

Rangers boss Walter Smith will field a strong side in their Europa League clash with Sporting Lisbon despite Sunday's crunch match with Celtic.

Rangers trail their arch-rivals by five points on the Scottish Premier League table with two games in hand going into the trip to Celtic Park, but have the hosting of Sporting Lisbon on Thursday in the first leg of their round of 32 Europa League tie to get through first.

Smith hardly has the luxury of depth in his squad, but the former Scotland manager will not holding back for the meeting with the Portuguese heavyweights.

"It's dead simple. Everyone keeps asking me this - you've got to win your games," Smith said.

"If we put out a far weakened team or a reserve team, they lose the game and we put out a stronger team and they lose on Sunday, then you have lost two games."

"You've got to try and win your games. It's a silly circumstance for everybody to say you are involved in professional football and you don't want to win a game. You've got to try and win the matches you are involved in."

Sporting, like Rangers, have had financial issues inhibit their spending in the transfer market.

The similarities do not end there, with both clubs losing their top scorers in the January transfer window: Rangers sold Kenny Miller to Turkish side Bursaspor, while Sporting frontman Liedson was offloaded to Corinthians.

"If I look at the circumstances at the present moment, they are a little bit similar to ourselves in the sense that they look as though - from the outside - they have financial problems within their club," Smith said.

"They lost a couple of players in the (European) summer (and) like ourselves they lost their top goal-scorer ... in the (January) transfer window."

"So they have one or two problems getting a settled team at the present moment. If you look at all the problems we've had to endure over the last few years, both clubs are really in a very similar circumstance."

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Date Title
16-02 Rangers to take no chances

Primeira Liga table

# Team MP D P
14 0 +0 0
15 0 +0 0
16 0 +0 0
17 0 +0 0
18 0 +0 0

Championship table

# Team MP D P
6 0 +0 0
7 0 +0 0
8 0 +0 0
9 0 +0 0
10 0 +0 0