Scottish Football: Steven's Thistle test

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The Independent Online
TREVOR STEVEN, who has played just over three hours of competitive football since his return from France, is finally ready to re-activate his Rangers career.

The England midfielder, bought back from Marseille for half his original pounds 5m transfer fee, should be fit to play against Partick Thistle today.

Stuart McCall and Mark Hateley, both substitutes in the 4-1 win at Motherwell, are set to resume from the start against the newly promoted Glasgow side.

Craig Nelson, the 21-year-old Thistle goalkeeper, is recovering from a back injury and aims to repeat last week's impressive display against Falkirk. Grant Tierney, the Thistle midfielder, misses the game with a groin injury which requires surgery; Paul McLaughlin takes over.

Celtic's only League defeat in 24 games since 4 January came on the final day of last season when they lost 2-1 to Hibernian. 'There was an important lesson to be learned from that game,' said the Celtic manager, Liam Brady, yesterday. 'Hibs showed they are well organised and could hit on the break.

Brady is unlikely to make changes to the side who beat St Johnstone 3-1, which means a second start for Stuart Slater.

Hearts tackle Aberdeen without Alan McLaren, Eamonn Bannon and Ian Ferguson. Aberdeen have Duncan Shearer back.