United have conceded 18 goals in their last four games against Neil Lennon's team, albeit they pushed them all the way in a 4-3 William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final defeat in April.
Having beaten St Johnstone 4-0 last weekend, then won 3-2 at Dumbarton in the Scottish League Cup in midweek, there is a positive mood in the United camp and McNamara expects that to be manifest in the performance. "Hopefully we will put a good show on," the manager said. "It would give everyone a lift to get a result because we didn't do well against Celtic last season. If we can keep it tight and cause them problems when we have got the ball we can hurt them."
McNamara has selection dilemmas after making four changes for the game on Wednesday evening. Keith Watson, Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong were given the night off, while Ryan Dow is expected to shake off a groin problem he suffered during the weekend win. Nadir Ciftci came off the bench to score twice and set up another for Ryan Gauld, who was one of the four players drafted in for the cup tie.
"I left four players out from Saturday to give the other ones a chance," McNamara said. "It put a bit of pressure on myself if it didn't go right. But it's important that we have that competition and have all the players involved because it's not just about the first four or five games, it's about the whole season."
One player who will not be involved is Michael Gardyne, who has joined Kilmarnock on loan until January.