Advocaat predicts a trouble-free derby

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The Independent Football

By Ken Gaunt

By Ken Gaunt

24 December 1999

Dick Advocaat believes there will be no trouble at the Old Firm derby at Parkhead on Monday.

Rangers, who beat Celtic 4-2 in the League in November, are returning to Parkhead for the first time since 2 May, when they clinched the title amid disgraceful scenes. Hugh Dallas , the referee, was struck on the head with a coin, the Celtic pair Stéphane Mahé and Vidar Riseth and Rangers' Rod Wallace were sent off, and fighting broke out between rival supporters.

But the Rangers manager said: "I am sure there will not be a problem with our discipline. My team will be professional. After the game in May there was no trouble at the Cup final."

Advocaat added: "Our recent games with them have seen a lot of high quality football. It should be another interesting game. We know that if we beat them we will go seven points clear with a game in hand."

Celtic's head coach, John Barnes, will avoid the temptation of giving his new Brazilian recruit, Rafael, a baptism of fire.

The work permit formalities of his £4.8m move from Gremio have been completed, but Barnes will leave the 23-year-old defender to continue his recuperation at home in Brazil after a full domestic campaign.

Nigel Pepper, the Aberdeen midfielder, has joined Southend United on a three- month loan. Pepper, 31, was one of seven men recently put on the transfer list by Aberdeen.

Peter Barber, the minister of a church next to Hearts' Tynecastle stadium, has asked Hearts not to play on Sunday nights. Mr Barber said he has had to cancel services twice in the last month as elderly parishioners feared the traffic and crowds.