Strachan renews Burley rivalry as Celtic aim for top

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The Independent Football

Victory for Celtic would see them leapfrog Hearts to the Scottish Premier League summit for the first time this season. These managers have had a number of crucial game against each other. In 2000-01, Burley's Ipswich beat Strachan's Coventry twice in the Premiership. Ipswich finished fifth. Burley won the Manager of the Year award. Coventry were relegated andStrachan's days were over at Highfield Road. In March 2002, Strachan inspired Southampton's 3-1 away win at Portman Road, a result that launched the club's Premiership survival push. Ipswich went down and Burley soon departed.

Hearts are without their Scotland goalkeeper, Craig Gordon today, who is suspended, and their striker, Roman Bednar, who is injured. Celtic will be without their Poland striker Maciej Zurawski, who was hurt against England.

Strachan has sought to play down the significance of today's match, saying: "There will be other bigger games. [A win] would be a great result for us but it won't change the season."

Rangers, currently third, travel to Dundee United tomorrow, while Hibernian, in fourth, can extend their lead over fifth-placed Kilmarnock when they meet at Easter Road today.