SCOTTISH FOOTBALL: Celtic seek rare pleasure of three in a row

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The Independent Online
LAST WEEK'S 2-0 Scottish Premier League victory for Celtic over Motherwell may not have been a remarkable result in its own right - but it was the first that the champions had achieved back-to-back wins since last February.

Tomorrow Celtic are determined to make it three wins in a row at Tynecastle against a Hearts team who have also struggled to maintain their standards of last season.

For Hearts' manager, Jim Jefferies, the frustration at this state of affairs is obvious, but his team's home form has been impressive enough, a trend he is keen to maintain.

"We have won our last two league games at home so we are looking forward to Celtic's visit," Jefferies said. "But there is no point just talking about it, we must make it happen."

Both teams should welcome back their regular goalkeepers for the fixture, with Jonathan Gould fit again for Celtic after a knee ligament problem and Hearts' Gilles Rousset recovering from a recent virus. Celtic's new pounds 3m striker Marko Viduka may make the bench.

The league leaders, Rangers, entertain Dunfermline today. The Ibrox head coach, Dick Advocaat, will be without the Finnish striker Jonatan Johansson for both today's game and Tuesday's Uefa Cup tie against Parma, as he has a groin injury. Stephane Guivarc'h seems certain to link up with Rod Wallace in attack.

The Pars manager, Bert Paton, is likely to demote David Graham, a recent recruit from Rangers, to the bench as he reverts to a two-man forward line of Andy Smith and on-loan Edinho, while Scott Thomson (knee) is out for six weeks.

Second-placed Kilmarnock, at home to Aberdeen, may be without their striker Mark Roberts. He is still struggling with the hamstring injury that kept him out of last week's impressive 3-0 win at Dunfermline and is likely to miss out again.

John Inglis could return to the Aberdeen defence at Rugby Park following the 3-0 home defeat by Dundee United. Michael Hart may also replace Ilian Kiriakov in midfield.

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