Rangers defender Madjid Bougherra is sweating over his fitness ahead of the FIFA World Cup™ finals in South Africa this summer.

The centre-half has been hampered by injury problems throughout the season and failed to take part in the Scottish champions' final four games.

Algeria coach Rabah Saadane now wants Bougherra to rest for up to 10 days to ensure he is at peak fitness as they prepare to face England, the United States and Slovenia. That means the 27-year-old will miss next week's friendly with the Republic of Ireland in Dublin but will be given every opportunity to prove his fitness ahead of the FIFA World Cup.

Saadane said: "Madjid will be subject to intensive medical care. He came to this training camp with a torn calf and now our medical people will treat him in the best possible way to make sure he is fit in time for the finals. Madjid's injury requires special care and I want him to rest for up to 10 days."

Speaking of Algeria's chances at the FIFA World Cup in the Rangers News this week, Bougherra said: "England are one of the favourites for the World Cup title but, after that, we have nothing to lose.

"The USA and Slovenia have a lot of experience but we are going to South Africa with high hopes. We are going to go out on the pitch, enjoy ourselves and give everything for our country because we think we can do something special.

"Our big strength is our unity. We all want to succeed for Algeria because we all love our country and we will all work very hard together. It will be tough for us at the World Cup because every side there is good - but we are not afraid of anyone."