TWO experts on Millwall hooligans will be at Hearts' Uefa Cup tie this week to minimise the risk of violence involving Ferencvaros supporters in Edinburgh.

Hearts received intelligence last month that some Millwall followers intended to travel north to confront fans of the Hungarian champions, seeking to retaliate after trouble when the London club played in Budapest in September.

Hearts casuals have encouraged them to come north and offered to fight alongside them against the Hungarian club's fans. Last Thursday a Hearts casual placed a message on a website which stated: "Alright, is it true that Millwall are bringing up a mob and 'doing' Ferencvaros? If it is give me details of where yous [sic] will be and we will join forces with you and do the Krauts. No surrender."

Any Hearts casuals hoping to fight alongside Millwall's notorious thuggish element - on Thursday the club were charged by the FA for failing to prevent racist behaviour - are set to be disappointed. Millwall's security expert, Ken Chapman, said it was unlikely that any of their hardened hooligans would come to Edinburgh from London looking for trouble because of the likelihood of spending Christmas in a Scottish police cell.

Two liaison officers from the Metropolitan Police's Football Intelligence Unit will be at Thursday's game as Hearts' guests - they can recognise Millwall's hooligan ringleaders and advise on how to react in the event of trouble breaking out - but the likelihood is that the officers will be the only two men present with a Millwall connection.

"I don't expect anything to happen for a number of reasons, " said Chapman, a former Metropolitan Police chief superintendent who is now Millwall's security and operations adviser.

"Ferencvaros are not doing well in the Uefa Cup group. They are not going to qualify. They took only 275 visiting supporters when they were at the New Den and I wouldn't expect them to be travelling in numbers to Hearts.

"Having spoken to our hooligans, the proximity of Christmas is a factor.

They don't want to get arrested now and be inside over Christmas. In that sense they are very respectful of the Scottish police. I know that the Hearts casuals have invited Millwall up, but if any attend at all it would only be for the gratification of seeing Ferencvaros knocked out of the tournament. All the Millwall fans will want Hearts to win, put it that way."

Hearts security chief Tom Purdie contacted Millwall last month to open a line of communication between the clubs.

A Hearts spokeswoman said: "Any intelligence between ourselves and Lothian and Borders Police would be of a confidential nature."

It will be a relief to Hearts that Millwall hooligans are unlikely to cause trouble and that there will not be a significant travelling support in the city.

There is a racist element among the Ferencvaros support which erupted when they drew Millwall in the Uefa Cup first round in September.

After an uneventful 1-1 draw in London (although police confiscated CS gas canisters, knives and offensive banners from coaches of Hungarian supporters on the way to the match), the second leg descended into violence in Budapest.

Four Millwall supporters were taken to hospital suffering from stab wounds before their club's 3-1 defeat and there were disturbances throughout the match itself with missiles - drink, coins and food - thrown at the London club's supporters and officials in the ground.

In all, 21 fans were detained because of clashes in downtown Budapest and near the stadium.

Unforgivably, there was relentless racist abuse of the black Millwall players Paul Ifill and Mark McCammon, prompting McCammon to throw his shirt on the ground in disgust at the final whistle. Millwall chairman Theo Pathitis described the incidents as the worst intimidation he could remember at a match and Ferencvaros were subsequently fined Pounds26,000 by Uefa.

Thankfully, any difficulty caused by Ferencvaros on Thursday is likely to be on the pitch, for John Robertson's players.

The Hungarian league closed down for the winter on November 28 and Ferencvaros will maintain a threepoint lead at the top of the championship until the second half of the campaign begins on March 5.

Having not played a league match for 18 days before this week's match at Murrayfield, they are not as sharp as they would prefer.

Their only fixtures in the intervening period were the 2-1 home defeat to Basel in the Uefa Cup on December 1 - in which goalkeeper Lajos Szucs missed an 85th penalty which could have provided an equaliser - and then a comfortable 3-1 victory over Pecs to reach the quarter final of the Hungarian Cup last Wednesday night.

For Hearts fans, midfielder Szabolcs Huszti will be the most familiar name in the visitors' side having scored twice in Hungary's 3-0 friendly defeat of Scotland at Hampden four months ago.