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GERS FACE PITCH BATTLE, CLAIMS EX-STAR

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RANGERS misfit Philippe Senderos has warned the Ibrox side they will face a hidden menace when they play Young Boys in Berne in their Europa League clash on Thursday night.

Steven Gerrard’s side travel to the Switzerland capital week for their second game in Group G following the 1-0 win over Feyenoord in Glasgow almost a fortnight ago.

But the odds are stacked against the visitors because the Super League side have not lost at the Stade de Suisse Wankdorf in almost a YEAR.

Swiss stopper Senderos, who flopped at Ibrox after being signed by Mark Warburton in 2016, admitted the club’s remarkable record is down to their heavily-criticised synthetic playing surface.

The 34-year-old former Arsenal star, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “Young Boys at home is always a friendly atmosphere and I don’t see Rangers being surprised or intimidated.

“But the big thing is that they play on astroturf and that plays into their hands as they train on it every single day, so it’s a huge advantage for them.”

Gers gaffer Gerrard claimed plastic pitches shouldn’t be allowed in elite football after Jamie Murphy was injured at Rugby Park last season.

And a string of top managers – including Jose Mourinho at Manchester United last season – have hit out at Young Boys using an artificial surface.

On-loan striker Jermain Defoe was part of a Spurs side who were 3-0 down inside half-an-hour before they recovered to score twice in a Champions League qualifier in 2010.

Senderos added: “They won the league and have been head and shoulders above everyone and are undoubtedly the best Swiss team at the moment.

“It’s a tough game to call because Young Boys are really strong in Berne and they will want to do well at home in this competition but I hope for a Rangers victory.”

The former international pivot is back playing in his homeland with second-tier side Chiasso following a stint in America with Houston Dynamo after he leaving Ibrox.

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Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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