Sutton to start at Hibernian as Celtic lose injured McNamara

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The Independent Online

Martin O'Neill, the Celtic manager, is confident Chris Sutton will be fit to face Hibernian at Easter Road tomorrow.

Martin O'Neill, the Celtic manager, is confident Chris Sutton will be fit to face Hibernian at Easter Road tomorrow.

The Englishman, who scored in the 3-1 loss to Barcelona on Tuesday, has recovered from the hamstring problem which forced him to start the Champions' League game on the bench. Sutton has, however, aggravated a groin injury which has kept him out of training, but O'Neill believes he will still be able to start.

O'Neill will, however, be without the midfield player Jackie McNamara has been ruled out for six to eight weeks with a twisted ankle.

The Scottish Football Association have turned down Rangers' appeal against the dismissal of striker Steven Thompson earlier this week. The Scotland international was sent off in a reserve team win against Hearts at Ibrox on Monday when he appeared to catch a Jambos defender with his elbow. Rangers appealed, but the SFA have confirmed that Thompson will miss tomorrow's match at home to Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Jim Duffy, the Dundee manager, is to open talks with the former Serie A player Fabio Macellari and his Italian compatriot Lorenzo Cresta in an attempt to strengthen his squad. The pair have been on trial for the past week and impressed during a closed-doors game against St Johnstone on Wednesday.

Macellari, who was once a target for Bayern Munich, has previously played for Internazionale, Bologna and Cagliari and helped the latter to promotion from Serie B last season. The 30-year-old has, however, been beset by personal problems and views a move to Scotland as a fresh start and a chance to get his career back on track. Cresta, also a Serie B player, is a defender and someone who Duffy believes can flourish in the Premier League.

Neither will be signed in time for today's visit of Livingston, and given the precarious financial position at Dens Park, it is uncertain whether the Dark Blues can negotiate a package to bring the two players in.

Dundee welcome back Tom Hutchinson for the first time in six months after a series of injuries. Duffy is still without Lee Wilkie and is loathe to name goalkeeper Kelvin Jack, who has a knee problem, but will be forced to put him on the bench because of a lack of numbers.

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