Strachan dons armour for Inverness

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The Independent Online

Gordon Strachan insisted yesterday that he would field a full-strength side for the visit by Inverness Caledonian Thistle this afternoon rather than rest any first-choice players ahead of the Champions' League tie with Manchester United on Tuesday. "My priority is the championship, Europe is a bonus," said Strachan, whose side are 15 points clear in the SPL after 10 successive League wins.

In the Champions' League, where they are hoping to qualify for the knockout stages for the first time, they are in second place in Group F, three points behind United and two ahead of Benfica and FC Copenhagen. But even with the group in the balance and Celtic in need of at least a point against United to keep their destiny in their own hands, Strachan said Celtic would be at full strength today. "Nobody [in the team] has mentioned Manchester United and that's good," he said. "My team for Inverness will be the best team that I can pick."

Hearts and Rangers will be playing as much for pride as for runners-up spot when they meet at Tynecastle tomorrow. Hearts are without a win in six games and the turmoil enveloping the club continues. There was no confirmation yesterday whether their captain, Steven Pressley, will return to the squad amid fears that he and others are being sidelined by the club's owner, Vladimir Romanov.

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