Nadir Ciftci perhaps has a little more incentive to enjoy himself today than the majority of his Dundee United team-mates, with the forward due back in Glasgow on Thursday to fight his corner at a disciplinary hearing. Ciftci has been cited for violent conduct during a Scottish League Cup quarter-final loss to Inverness Caledonian Thistle in midweek, including an allegation of "seizing" assistant referee Gavin Harris.
The Turk had been offered a three-match suspension by the Scottish Football Association but has chosen to contest his punishment. The consequence of losing his case could be a lengthy spell on the sidelines - it is understood that the United player could now be banned for anything up to 16 matches - and that prospect has brought a league match with Celtic this afternoon under greater focus.
Ciftci is free to face the SPFL Premiership leaders after appealing his red card and this week remained adamant that he is not guilty of clutching at a match official. "I didn't do what I'm made out to have done so that's how I feel about it. I didn't do anything different from anyone else," said the United forward, speaking before the date of his hearing was announced.
"Now I just want to play well on Saturday; the game can't come quickly enough. We are all really determined to do well against Celtic because of the way in which we lost so late on in Inverness. It was very disappointing but we have to move on. That's life."
It has been easier for some to move on more than others, with goalkeeper Radoslaw Cierzniak having suffered a knock in the Highlands and Andrew Robertson left nursing a dead leg. The United pair are expected to be fit to play in Glasgow, though, and Jackie McNamara is hopeful his players will not be held back by their cup defeat earlier in the week.
"We're looking forward to going to Celtic Park and we'll approach it like we do any other game," said the United manager, who has not decided whether to select Ciftci or not. "That's when we're at our best and we'll try to show that again on Saturday. We have some very good forward-thinking players who can cause any team problems on their day. This is a great stage to go and play at and hopefully it can bring out the best in us.
"What is done is done now. We wanted to progress in the cup but it wasn't to be, unfortunately. It's about moving on and trying to get a positive result in the next game - Celtic are a quality side but as always we'll focus on ourselves and stick to the things we're good at. We've been playing quite well in the league recently so it is just a case of trying to keep that going."