Football: Shannon's derby pitch

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The Independent Online
Rab Shannon faces an Edinburgh derby debut for Hibernian against Hearts at Tynecastle today after completing a pounds 100,000 switch from Dundee United.

Shannon, 30, is the second signing in a fortnight by the Hibernian caretaker manager, Jocky Scott, who had worked with Shannon at Dunfermline and Dundee. Shannon's arrival allows Hibs to restore Willie Miller to right-back, with Shannon expected to take over on the left.

Lying in wait for Hibs today is the derby goals specialist, John Robertson. He scored his 250th goal for Hearts in the last derby and is, ominously for Hibs, on 198 league goals.

"We have been looking for more experienced players to join the club and Shannon has proved a great defender," said Scott, who recently paid Celtic pounds 250,000 for John Hughes. "Rab felt he wasn't being used to his full potential at Dundee United."

Hearts have Neil McCann ready to return, but the manager Jim Jefferies refuses to reveal his main injury worry, with the mystery man thought to be the goalkeeper, Gilles Rousset. Neil Pointon sits out the derby with a one-match ban as Hearts look to complete three league wins in a row in their last outing before the Coca-Cola Cup final against Rangers tomorrow week.

Aberdeen entertain Dundee United at Pittodrie for the first time in 18 months, while Kilmarnock and Motherwell meet at Rugby Park in an important basement battle, with the sides level on points in second-bottom place.

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