Celtic likely to play Milan tie in Geneva

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The Independent Online

The Stade de Geneve in Geneva emerged yesterday as the most likely venue for the away leg of Celtic's Champions League last-16 tie against Milan on 7 March, if no compromise is reached to use San Siro, with or without fans, under the restrictions imposed on staging matches in Italy.

Milan still hope to play Celtic on home turf, and Uefa, football's European governing body, said last night a decision will be made early next week. Gordon Strachan, Celtic's manager, said he is unconcerned where the game is played. "It doesn't matter," he said. "We could play at the training ground and the game would still have an intensity."

That sentiment could apply to this afternoon's match against Hibernian, who despite the sale of four internationals in the past year, and an average age of 22, have won five of their past six games.

They travel to Parkhead more in hope than expectation - Celtic are unbeaten in the League at home since November 2005 - but will present a stiffer challenge than most. Celtic need only five wins to guarantee the title.

Celtic's Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink is suspended, while Derek Riordan is struggling with an ankle injury picked up in last week's Scottish Cup win over Livingston. Maciej Zurawski, Steven Pressley and Aiden McGeady could all return. The Hibs captain Rob Jones is suspended.

Rangers, 19 points adrift of their Old Firm rivals, will give a debut to Kevin Thomson tomorrow at Kilmarnock following his £2m move from Hibs.

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