Rangers seek overdue title triumph at Tannadice

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Rangers can claim a title many of their fans believe is 12 months late with victory at Tannadice tomorrow.

Walter Smith's team looked on course to lift the Scottish Premier League title last season but fatigue, brought on by the sheer weight of games involved in their domestic and European cup runs, contributed to a late-season collapse which enabled Celtic to lift a third consecutive championship.

This season it is Rangers who have overhauled runaway leaders, edging ahead of Celtic having trailed by eight points in the spring. However, victory will not be easy against a Dundee United side that can clinch a place in Europe, at the expense of Aberdeen, if they take a point. The problem for Rangers is that a repeat of the draw that occurred in this fixture earlier this season would allow Celtic to leapfrog them by defeating Hearts at Celtic Park.

Rangers have defender Madjid Bougherra available after his red card against Aberdeen was overturned. Barry Ferguson may start after appearing as substitute last weekend. Dundee United expect Francisco Sandaza to shake off a hamstring injury but fellow forwards Andis Shaila and Warren Feeney are injured.

''It's a great occasion to be involved in – I'm relishing it – and as a player, if you can't get inspired by this then nothing will inspire you,'' said Craig Levein, United's manager.

There has been speculation that Smith, 61, would move "upstairs" if Rangers win with his assistant Ally McCoist taking over as manager, but Smith would only say, "We'll see."

At the bottom Falkirk will be relegated unless they win at Inverness today. Terry Butcher's side would then go down themselves unless the defeat is narrow and St Mirren are hammered at home to Hamilton.