Football: Eager Rangers on the brink

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RANGERS go into the final Old Firm match of the season knowing that victory, coupled with the right result elsewhere, could give them their sixth successive title. There will be no Celtic supporters at Ibrox today - they have been banned for alleged damage to seats in the past - so the atmosphere will be decidedly partisan.

Walter Smith, the Rangers manager, will restore Mark Hateley to his attack. The Englishman missed Tuesday's defeat at second-placed Motherwell who, if they lose at home to Kilmarnock, will be unable to catch Rangers, assuming a home win at Ibrox.

Celtic have severe injury problems, with Mike Galloway, Gary Gillespie and Tom Boyd all likely to join Paul McStay, Rudi Vata and Charlie Nicholas on the sidelines.

Hibernian and Heart of Midlothian meet in an Edinburgh derby which is vital to Hearts' hopes of staying in the Premier Division. They go into the match with a 21- game unbeaten run against their city rivals behind them.

Celtic shareholders, at yesterday's extraordinary general meeting, voted unanimously for a new share issue to raise pounds 21m. The chief executive, Fergus McCann, confirmed that Celtic Park will be rebuilt at a cost of pounds 24m over the next two years, with work beginning in the summer.

John Reilly, the player-manager of Cowdenbeath, who are bottom of the Second Division, has resigned for personal reasons.