Weir urges Rangers to keep their heads in title dash

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The Independent Football

A two-horse race it may be, but the chase for the Scottish Premier League title has again produced a more gripping climax to the season than its English equivalent with Rangers and Celtic exchanging the lead as the campaign enters its final furlong.

Having taken control of the contest by defeating their Old Firm rivals at Ibrox last weekend Rangers lost the chance to shape their own destiny when they were controversially held in midweek by Hibernian. They can go top again today by beating Aberdeen, who have not won at Ibrox in 18 years. But unless they win heavily they will again surrender the summit if Celtic win at Hibs tomorrow lunchtime. A goal difference of two separates the Glasgow pair in the table, with two fixtures left for each team.

There are echoes of last season when the clubs entered the last day of the season level on points, with Rangers four goals adrift on goal difference. Rangers then lost at Aberdeen, making Celtic's victory at Dundee United academic. Perhaps with that in mind David Weir, the Rangers captain, yesterday dismissed talk of his team seeking a rout to overhaul Celtic's goal difference by insisting: "We've got to try to win the game first and foremost."

Kenny Miller remains an injury doubt, having missed Wednesday's draw at Easter Road after suffering a recurrence of his hamstring problem. Andrius Velicka (illness) is unlikely to feature but Sasa Papac (knee) is in contention. Aberdeen's Mark Kerr returns from suspension but Jamie Smith, Andrew Considine, Zander Diamond, Darren Mackie, Derek Young and Tommy Wright are injured and Peter Pawlett doubtful.

Celtic, who lost 2-0 at Easter Road earlier this season, expect to include the Scotland midfielder Scott Brown even though he injured his ankle against Dundee United in midweek. Stephen McManus, Barry Robson and Mark Wilson are out for the season.

The bottom club St Mirren will be relegated today if they lose at Falkirk, who are a point above them, and Inverness Caledonian avoid defeat at Kilmarnock.

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