POLICE in Kazakhstan are not taking any chances when it comes to crowd control for Celtic's European clash tomorrow.

Despite the fact just a few dozen fans are expected to make the trip to Central Asia, a local website there is reporting around 1000 police officers will be mobilised for the game in the capital.

Few, if any Celtic fans, look set to go to rival side Shakhter's home town.

But while there might not be any sign of film character Borat, they will meet thousands of Astana's ethnically diverse and cosmopolitan residents.

Local police predict no more than 100 Scots will travel - more than the 30 expected by Celtic - but that more officers will be ready to be called in if there is trouble.

"Scottish firework lovers could get up to 10 days in jail," announced sports news site Vesti.kz, after police said any fan setting off a flare would be prosecuted for hooliganism.

"British fans," the site added, "are among the most unpredictable."

The Kazakhstan that Celtic fans are about to encounter for tomorrow's Champions League tie against Shakhter Karagandy will be very different from the comedy vision of the Central Asian nation.

And, unlike in Sacha Baron Cohen's hit mockumentary, there won't be a green mankini to be seen.

Instead, they will discover a glittering new city of glass pyramids and gold-domed public buildings in Kazakhstan's sometimes surreal, modernistic capital. At least one of the sights, though, may make Glaswegians feel at home. Astana's Modern Bridge bears a striking similarity to the "Squinty Bridge" over the Clyde.

"Astana strikes visitors with the beauty of the urban landscape and the boldness of the architectural decisions," said Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev last month.

He was marking the 15th anniversary of the transformation of Soviet provincial city Akmola into a national capital, renamed Astana. He was also celebrating Kazakhstan's national day, and - not entirely coincidentally - his own birthday.

The oil-rich Nazarbayev regime has invested billions in Astana during the last 15 years.

Celtic will play Shakhter in Kazakhstan's 30,000-seat national stadium, opened in 2009 at a cost of £118million. Its roof opens and closes and its pitch is plastic.

Shakhter aren't from Astana. Their home is more than 100 miles away in the northern Kazakh rustbelt city of Karagandy.

The club has been serving the coal community there - "Shakhter" means "miner" in Russian - since 1958. But it has only broken into the big time in recent years with Kazakh championship wins for the last two seasons.

The city, its name became a byword for the middle-of-the-nowhere across the old Soviet Union, once had a huge German population, many victims of forced relocation by the Stalin regime of the mid-20th Century.