Derby passion rouses Dundee

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The Independent Online

Lee Wilkie insists Dundee's foreign legion are fully aware of the rivalry involved in today's Tayside derby. The 20-year-old Scotland Under-21 defender and the striker Steven Milne are likely to be the only Dundonians in Ivano Bonetti's squad for the match at Tannadice.

Lee Wilkie insists Dundee's foreign legion are fully aware of the rivalry involved in today's Tayside derby. The 20-year-old Scotland Under-21 defender and the striker Steven Milne are likely to be the only Dundonians in Ivano Bonetti's squad for the match at Tannadice.

However, Wilkie maintains his foreign team-mates will know what to expect after their experience of the Dark Blues' 3-0 victory in the first derby of the season in September. "The other lads know just what this game means after the match at Dens Park, but it will be a very different story at Tannadice," Wilkie said. "We will be in front of United fans this time round and you cannot really prepare players for that. They will know what to expect once they are on the park and just how big a game it is for the fans."

Alex Smith, whose Dundee United side are rooted to the foot of the table, said: "This is a big one for the fans and it is very important for United to start winning. But, because it is a local derby, the supporters would appreciate the same sort of effort we have made in our last three outings."

United will be without the defender Jim Lauchlan, who has lost his appeal to the Scottish Football Association over the red card he received at Motherwell last week. Captain Jason de Vos is also suspended, but Smith hopes to include Jamie Fullarton in the squad if he can complete his transfer from Crystal Palace in time.

Rangers, who visit Aberdeen tomorrow, will make late checks on the knee injuries affecting Michael Mols and Ronald de Boer. The long-term casualties Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Stefan Klos, Craig Moore and Allan Johnston are not yet ready for returns and Claudio Reyna is also injured.

Celtic also play tomorrow, at home to St Johnstone. The Hoops' wing-back Jackie McNamara is rated very doubtful for the game and the striker Chris Sutton has a sore ankle after the midweek Uefa Cup defeat to Bordeaux, but the Bulgarian midfielder Stilian Petrov will be fit to play.

Peter Houston steps up from his role as Hearts' Under-21 coach to take charge of the first team at St Mirren today, following the midweek resignation of the Tynecastle manager, Jim Jefferies.

"The players have been very professional," Houston said. "Yes, they are disappointed, but things like that happen in football. We must get on with it. It has been a hectic week."

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