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Smith wary of Turkish underdogs

Rangers manager Walter Smith insists Bursaspor should not be written off simply because they are one of the lesser known teams in the Champions League this season.

The Scottish champions play host to their Turkish counterparts at Ibrox tonight, where they hope to build on the point gained against Manchester United in their Group C opener.

In contrast, Bursaspor suffered a 4-0 home defeat by Valencia.

But, as far as Smith is concerned, winning the Turkish league last season and sitting top of the table this term is proof in itself that their opponents are a force to be reckoned with.

"They are not unknown to us now, we have certainly gained quite a bit of information on them over the last few weeks," he said.

"They lost their first game to Valencia, I watched and it wasn't a game that you would say was a 4-0 game.

"I would think there will be a little bit of an adjustment on their part for the rest of the games.

"They've got some very good players and have invested quite heavily in their team to win the championship.

"If we were playing Galatasaray or Fenerbahce or Besiktas, then everyone would say it would be a really difficult game.

"Bursaspor have shown to be better than those sides over the last year or so and that's the standard they are at.

"I think the first appearance in the Champions League is always a very difficult one, especially at home. The home games are very dangerous against the more experienced, top European sides."

Rangers found themselves in a similar situation last year when they faced Romanians Unirea Urziceni, a team that was little known before their participation in the Champions League.

Theirs is now a name few Rangers fans are likely to forget after their shock 4-1 win at Ibrox but Smith believes tonight's opponents boast more quality. "I think they are a better side than Unirea were," he admitted.

"To win the championship in Turkey you have to be a strong side and they have got some very good players in their team."