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Underdog role suits Hoops says Rice

SHAMROCK Rovers hero Stephen Rice says the Hoops will revel in their status as underdogs when they begin their historic adventure in the Europa League tonight.

Russian side Rubin Kazan, who were in the group stages of the Champions League for the previous two seasons and who count a €20 million striker as their record signing, are the visitors to Dublin for the Tallaght Stadium clash (6pm, live on TV3).

Just 50 Russian fans are expected at the 8,500-capacity stadium.

Those away fans will expect nothing less than a win - and that suits Hoops midfielder Rice.

"I think in all the European games this year, besides Flora Tallinn, we went in as underdogs," said former Coventry City trained Rice, the longest-serving player at the club.

"And generally when Irish teams go into Europe they're considered as underdogs.

"It always helps to be the underdog but Rubin are a top, top side and we realise that we will have to be at our max to get a result."

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