Celtic v Hearts: Preview

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Updated: September 30, 2011

Celtic will meet Hearts in the Scottish Premier League this Sunday at 12.45pm and the home side will be hoping to upset the hoops following a turbulent start to their season.

Hearts are currently sitting in fifth place on the SPL table, six points behind Celtic and manager Paulo Sergio will be looking to restore confidence following their 2-0 defeat to St. Johnston on September 25.

Second place Celtic are currently trailing league leaders Rangers by a seven point margin, with a game in hand and they will be hoping to reduce this deficit at Tynecastle Stadium on Sunday.

Neil Lennon’s charges will go into Sunday’s game on the back of a draw with impressive Italian side Udinese in last night’s Europa League group game.

Udinese, who are currently top of Serie A were strong favourites going into the clash however, Lennon was left feeling hard done by after a controversial late penalty saved a point for the Italians and snatched victory from Celtic’s grip.

Scott Brown is expected to return to the Celtic side for Sunday after sitting out last night’s game, while Kelvin Wislon will remain out of action for the next few months after sustaining an injury in celtic’s victory over Ross County.

Craig Thomson will referee Sunday’s match- the third time running that he’s been in charge of the Tynecastle fixture between the clubs.

Hoops boss Neil Lennon is confident he will be safe in the Tynecastle dugout on Sunday when he returns for the first time since he was attacked by Hearts supporter John Wilson in May.

Celtic’s 3-0 win at Tynecastle on 11 May was marred by the incident when Wilson emerged from behind the technical area to throw himself at Lennon.

Wilson admitted attacking Lennon in court and was given an eight-month jail sentence for breach of the peace.

“I’m sure measures will be in place and it will probably be the safest place for me to be,” said the Celtic manager who is more interested in closing the gap on league leaders Rangers.

“The only thing I’m nervous about is my team doesn’t play as well as we can,” he added.

“It is a tough game and it is a difficult place to go and win.”

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