Police Scotland visited both Hearts and Hibernian ahead of tonight’s Edinburgh derby amid concerns of a repeat of the ugly scenes at the last match between the sides at Tyencastle.
The evening kick-off time during the festive period combined with the Rangers v Celtic match being shown live on television earlier in the day raised fears that more alcohol than usual may be consumed by fans before the game.
The incidents during the last meeting – which was another evening kick-off – included Hearts goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal being assaulted by a fan and Hibs manager Neil Lennon being hit by a coin.
Television coverage is the reason the Edinburgh derby has been rescheduled for an evening kick-off, with the Old Firm derby selected for the 12:30pm slot. Both Hearts manager Craig Levein and his Hibs counterpart Neil Lennon expressed some misgivings.
Levein, pictured, said he was “slightly surprised” by the decision to sanction a late kick-off time on a Saturday between Christmas and New Year.
Lennon remarked that it was “a funny one”. He added: “Two derbies on the one day, as well. There may be a bit of alcohol consumed by 5:30pm. We would all just ask people to behave themselves.”
Levein and Lennon confirmed that the players and coaching staff from both sides had been reminded of their responsibilities by police officers ahead of this evening’s clash.
It is also understood players and coaching staff have been advised to avoid going out in town following the game.
“We had the police in for