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Robbie is battling to be fit

CELTIC boss Tony Mowbray has wrapped Robbie Keane in cotton wool in advance of his first Old Firm experience and the Irish skipper won't be short of advice when he samples the Ibrox atmosphere on Sunday.

Keane shipped a knee injury against Dundee United and hasn't trained all week as a precaution but is expected to be fit to play.

In the meantime, he can find plenty of wise words to dwell on while he prepares for a game which could decide the SPL.

"Nothing can really prepare you for an Old Firm derby," said Willo Flood. "I don't think there's another game like it in the world.

"I heard someone say that it would be ideal if the manager handed you an instruction manual before kick-off, but nobody has written one yet. It's a case of going out and just getting involved.

"I signed for Celtic after Roy Keane was there and left before Robbie signed -- it's just my luck," he said."It would have been an absolute pleasure to play beside Robbie but it wasn't to be.

"I've only met him a few times but I wasn't surprised to see him sign for Celtic."

While Flood urges caution, Roy Keane has taken the opposite view and reckons that Robbie will relish the all-or-nothing nature of the fixture.

"The beauty of the fixture for Celtic now is that they have to win," said Keane.

"They simply must be positive and if you look at the guys Tony has brought in over January, a lot of attack-minded players are involved. Celtic know defeats and draws are no good to them because of the big points gap Rangers hold.

"That is how it is set up for Sunday. Celtic must forget any idea of being patient or sitting back. It would not surprise me if Robbie played an important role. I may even ask him for a ticket and come up the road from Ipswich."


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