Rangers v Falkirk preview
Mendes blow for SPL holders; Stewart misses out for visitors
Last Updated: 14/08/09 3:56pm
Smith: Begins against Falkirk
Rangers begin the defence of their SPL title with a home clash against Falkirk on Saturday.
Gers manager Walter Smith has been dealt a blow with the news Pedro Mendes is out for the weekend.
The midfielder has been ruled out with a thigh strain while Nacho Novo has a dislocated shoulder.
Adding to Smith's selection woes are Sasa Papac and Kyle Lafferty, who are suspended.
Kevin Thomson will be in the squad but is unlikely to start after a lengthy lay-off from competitive action with a serious knee injury.
Mark Stewart is the only absentee from Falkirk's squad for the fixture.
The forward suffered a groin injury earlier in pre-season and is around two weeks away from a comeback.
Josh Wagenaar comes into the squad after signing earlier this week but Robert Olejnik will continue in goal.