Celtic in town for sold out showdown

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RAITH Rovers are gearing up for one of their biggest ever games when Glasgow Celtic come to town this Sunday.

A capacity crowd of over 8000 will cram inside Stark’s Park for the Scottish Cup fifth round tie after the last few remaining tickets were sold this week.

It will also see the club feature in a live televised home match for the first time, with BBC Scotland broadcasting the game to the nation.

The tie has provided Rovers with a desperately needed financial boost, but for manager Grant Murray, the focus is on causing a major cup upset.

Belief

“There’s no point going into the game if we don’t believe we can win it,” he told the Press.

“We’re up against Celtic, and no matter what team they put out they are a quality side.

“We know from playing them in the League Cup earlier in the season how difficult it will be.

“We lost that game 4-1 - and we thought we played well. But Sunday’s different.

“It’s the Scottish Cup, we’re at home, and it’s a huge game for our players and fans.

“It’s one we’ve go to enjoy, but we’ll certainly be giving it our best shot to get to the next round.”

Rovers go into the tie on a three-game losing streak, having won just one of their last 10 league matches.

But they can take encouragement from St.Mirren, who upset the form book to knock Celtic out of the League Cup semi-final last weekend.

Murray added: “We’ll need a bit of luck on our side.

“We don’t want Celtic to be playing well and firing an all cylinders.

“If they sell Gary Hooper before the transfer window closes that might also help!

“But as long as our lads give it their all we can’t ask for anymore.”

Rovers will be without the suspended Dougie Hill, while David Smith’ loan deal from Hearts has been extended for another month.

The Press also understands that the club has held talks with Brian Graham’s agent ahead the transfer deadline tonight (Thursday), but no offer has yet been made for the club’s top scorer.

Sunday’s kick-off is 12.45 p.m and fans are reminded that they must sit in their allocated seat number.

>> Don’t miss this week’s Fife Free Press for our exclusive head-to-head preview of the big match, and a look back at the previous eight Scottish Cup meetings between the sides - all of them won by Celtic!

MATTHEW ELDER

Twitter: @mattelder_ffp