Football: Cadete doubt for Celtic

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The Independent Online
Celtic's surfeit of strikers has been reduced with the sale of Pierre Van Hooijdonk to Nottingham Forest but with injury doubts affecting both Paolo Di Canio and Jorge Cadete for tonight's visit to Rugby Park, Tommy Burns may yet rue the timing of the Dutchman's transfer.

Celtic will attempt to close the gap on Rangers to two points, but Di Canio has to shake off a hamstring injury and the leading goalscorer, Cadete, is also struggling to be fit.

"Is Cadete carrying an injury? No more so than maybe half a dozen players at this stage of the season," Burns said.

"I don't think any player will be feeling 100 per cent considering the number of the games they have had but there isn't a problem with Jorge at the moment. Paolo is still a doubt and if there is any risk attached to playing him then I won't."

Celtic face Kilmarnock heartened by last Thursday's victory over Rangers, which ended a nine-match run in which they have failed to beat their Old Firm rivals .

The Glasgow giants meet head on again this Sunday back at Parkhead but Burns is desperate to ensure his players have their minds on tonight's fixture at Rugby Park. "I am only concerned with winning three points from this game," Burns said.

"We must be single-minded in our approach. We have eight games left and we have to get every point we can but at the moment I am only thinking about one game."

Burns has had to lift his side after an Old Firm defeat many times in the past and now wants to try and maintain the high achieved by last Thursday's win over Rangers.

"There's no reason why anything needs to drop. It could be the making of us if we keep showing the same desire and determination nothing should stand in our way now."

Kilmarnock have a goalkeeping problem with Dragoje Lekovic on international duty with Yugoslavia, so the former Scotland Under-21 international Colin Meldrum is expected to play in his stead.

Bobby Williamson, the Killie manager, said: "I've no qualms about using Colin, he's a good young player and he'll handle it."

Williamson will be hoping Saturday's Cup quarter-final victory over Morton will bolster the club's league form. Killie are only a point clear of bottom club Raith and five adrift of the safety line currently occupied by Motherwell and Hibernian.

Williamson has defender Kevin McGowne available after a suspension but Derek Anderson is still banned. Paul Wright, Kilmarnock's leading goalscorer, has shaken off a knock sustained at Greenock, where John Henry scored a hat-trick.