Engelaar stepping into unknown

PSV Eindhoven captain Orlando Engelaar admits his knowledge of Rangers' players is limited ahead of Thursday's Europa League last-16 clash.

Last Updated: 10/03/11 at 09:16

Engelaar: Knows few of Rangers players

Engelaar: Knows few of Rangers players

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Engelaar is familiar with on-loan Blackburn forward El-Hadji Diouf and Maurice Edu, who netted the goal that saw Rangers progress past Sporting Lisbon in the last round.

But, although confessing he knows little about anyone else within Walter Smith's ranks, Engelaar insists there is no chance of PSV underestimating their opponents in Thursday's first leg in Holland.

He said: "I have to be honest and admit that I don't really know many of the players. Maybe just a few, like Diouf and Edu, of course.

"But they are obviously a big club, with a great history so we know it won't be easy."

Smith is expected to opt for the 5-4-1 formation that has served him well in European outings in the past, and Engelaar fully expects Rangers to be difficult to break down as PSV bid to claim the goals that will hand them the advantage ahead of next week's return at Ibrox.

He added: "Rangers will be a strong opponent and they have a lot of strength and are good defensively.

"It will be difficult for us to score a goal, that's what I expect. We will also have to watch out for the counter-attacks because I expect that we will be more on the attacking side."

PSV boss Fred Rutten has urged his players to "keep their cool" and show patience against Rangers.

He said: "I think that Rangers will start with five defenders, especially here in Eindhoven. I think their goal will be to prevent us from scoring, while trying to score one goal themselves.

"That five-man defence will become a wall for us to penetrate. But Lille and Sampdoria adopted the same defensive tactics.

"We must keep our cool and not play kick and rush, as Glasgow Rangers are also able to switch quickly from defence to attack."

Rutten, himself, watched Rangers in action in the Old Firm derby defeat to Celtic, before dispatching one of his scouts to Paisley at the weekend to witness a nervous 1-0 win over St Mirren in the SPL.

And, although his skipper may not yet be familiar with most of their players, Rutten is confident he has done enough homework on Smith's men.

"I have scouted Rangers thoroughly so I have plenty of information on them ahead of this game," he said.

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