Triallists set to figure

TRIALLIST Edwin Ouon will be handed a starting role against Rangers tonight, while fellow new boy Rui Marques will also play a part in the highly prestigious friendly against the Scottish champions.

By Derek Davis

TRIALLIST Edwin Ouon will be handed a starting role against Rangers tonight, while fellow new boy Rui Marques will also play a part in the highly prestigious friendly against the Scottish champions.

But the Blues will be without Frenchman Jimmy Juan, who suffered a bruised foot in the 5-2 win at Boston United and will not make the trip to Hungary on Thursday.

Fabian Wilnis has a sore knee and even though no risks will be taken it is likely he will play a part, while Sammy Moore drops out of the 18-man squad.

French defender Ouon has had spells with Metz, Red Star de Paris and Italian side Cagliari, prior to joining Royal Antwerp in 2002.

Watford have recently taken a look at Ouon, who also spent time with Leicester City last summer without winning a contract.

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The 24-year-old failed a drug test in March 2003 after testing positive for an anabolic steroid, but a second sample proved negative and he carried on playing.

Angolan international Marques, 27, started his career with Benfica and played in Germany with FC Baden, SSV Ulm 1846, Hertha Berlin and VfB Stuttgart.

The duo will each get at least 45 minutes in the full-back roles, although both are also at ease playing in central defence.

Blues boss Joe Royle had no hesitation in pitching the pair in for tonight's game after seeing them train yesterday.

He said: “They have decent pedigrees and both looked very comfortable in training. Ouon will start and depending on how Fabian is, so might Marques, but both will get at least half a game.”

The Scottish Premier League starts on July 30, a week before the Championship season, so Rangers are further advanced in pre-season training and beat Irish club Linfield 2-0 on Saturday after recently returning from Canada.

Royle added: “Rangers are a couple of weeks ahead of us but it was too good a fixture to turn down. It will be a good test, especially for the younger players, and a terrific game for the supporters.”

German keeper Stefan Klos is expected to make his Rangers' comeback against the Blues tonight, six months after snapping his cruciate ligament in training.

Klos' return, several months ahead of schedule, would almost certainly mean that he will start the new season as the champions' first choice if he comes through the match unscathed.

Ronald Waterreus, signed from Manchester City as cover in January, started in the 2-0 win against Linfield in Belfast on Saturday, but Rangers manager Alex McLeish is keen to see Klos in action next.

McLeish said: “Stefan will play at Ipswich. I will then have to decide in the coming weeks who is equipped to start the season. It will be a headache because I'm going to have to leave out an experienced keeper.”

Waterreus has signed an extended contract until the end of the season and the Gers also have Allan McGregor available in goal.

Skipper Barry Ferguson is a doubt after picking up a dead leg at Linfield, while Dado Prso is out with a knee injury.

Summer signings Brahim Hemdani from Marseilles, Argentinian Federico Nieto and Jose Pierre-Fanfan, will be on show, along with Belgian international Thomas Buffel and Danish striker Peter Lovenkrands.

Tonight's squads

Ipswich Town: Price, Supple, Ouon, Marques, Richards, Wilnis, De Vos, Naylor, Collins, Horlock, Magilton, Garvan, Currie, Westlake, McDonald, Bowditch, Forster and Parkin.

Glasgow Rangers: Klos, Wattereus, Ricksen, Fanfan, Malcolm, Murray, Burke, Ferguson, Rae, Fetia, Nieto, Buffel, McLean, Smith, McCormack, Levenkrands, Novo and Khizanishvili.

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