SPARTAK Moscow have reinstated their captain and a key player after they sacked their manager Massimo Carrera, ahead of their trip to face Rangers.

The Russians axed under-fire Carrera after a dismal home defeat to Arsenal Tula in the league - their fourth home game in a row they've failed to win.

That was enough for their board to dump former Juventus boss Carrera before they travelled to Scotland to face Rangers.

And they immediately handed a reprieve to captain Denis Glushakov and defender Andrei Yeshchenko, who had been forced to train with the reserves by Carrera after a bizarre bust-up.

The pair were initially suspended after they were accused of pressing the 'like' button on an Instagram post by Russian actor Dmitry Nazarov mocking Carrera, who led them to the title last year.

The actor wrote: "Carrera isn't our happiness. How many disgraces do we need before our gratefulness runs out?"

Carrera was enraged when both players appeared to agree with the post and suspended the duo before ordering them to train with the stiffs.

But as soon as it became clear they had axed the manager, Spartak immediately applied for two visas for the pair to be in their squad for the match against Rangers.

Captain Glushakov has won 57 caps for Russia and the 31-year-old experienced holding midfielder helped Spartak win a league and cup double last year.

And veteran right back Yeshchenko is also a Russian international, with both now back in their squad to face Steven Gerrard's side.