The Celtic manager, Martin O'Neill, will emphasise the importance of his players staying calm against Heart of Midlothian at Tynecastle today.
Only a Stilian Petrov goal separated the sides in the capital last month, but a controversial incident involving John Hartson left a nasty aftertaste. The Welshman, who is in doubt for the match with a back injury, left the Hearts defender Andy Webster needing treatment after the pair clashed off the ball.
"I should imagine that it would be fiery regardless of what went on before," O'Neill said. "A lot has been made of the John Hartson incident but it is always a big occasion and a big game. In big matches like this you have a better chance with 11 players on the field rather than 10 or nine. That is the point I will be trying to press, but I know in the heat of the battle things can happen."
The Hearts striker Mark de Vries has not eaten this week due to a virus, but O'Neill's counterpart Craig Levein is hopeful the Dutch forward will be fit after he returned to training yesterday. The midfielder Phil Stamp has recovered from the same illness, while Neil MacFarlane has suffered from an infected ankle but is expected to get the all-clear.
The Rangers manager, Alex McLeish, is set to name an unchanged squad at Kilmarnock, tomorrow following the CIS Insurance Cup semi-final defeat at the hands of Hibernian. However, he may make changes as Mikel Arteta and Ronald de Boer are short on fitness after injuries. Long-term casualties Steven Thompson, Gavin Rae and Stephen Hughes are close, but not ready to make comebacks.
The new loan signing Eric Skora is an injury worry for Kilmarnock, with an infected toe; but their manager, Jim Jefferies, is confident the player, who scored a brilliant goal in the defeat at Celtic last weekend, will be fit.
Dunfermline's manager, Jimmy Calderwood, will be missing three players for tomorrow's Scottish Cup fourth-round trip to First Division high-fliers Clyde. Greg Shields is cup-tied while Gary Mason is absent having picked up a knee injury at Dundee United. The veteran striker Craig Brewster remains unavailable as he recovers from an ankle injury.Reuse content