It was quite a farewell for Ibrox Rangers this morning as they made the short trip through Glasgow…
Celtic will be the most fearful group of supporters ahead of this match, according to their former manager Gordon Strachan, who predicted a tough afternoon for the Bhoys, speaking to BoyleSports:
Well, they need to make up a five-point gap, but, as we sit here this morning, I would say Celtic are the more worried supporters of the two. But it happens this way, it’s like a stick in Scotland that’s constantly passed between the two sides and it puts pressure on when you carry it.
The stress of the fans carries over to the manager and players. (Before Dundee) Celtic have suffered two defeats on the trot, the first time since 2013. Rangers fans will be reassured by what happened last month. Clément has closed the gap on Celtic, that’s for sure and it’s a test for Celtic.
Brendan Rodgers’ words are currently not replicated by behavior.
The Celtic manager’s defense of his club’s position, ahead of the second Old Firm clash of the season, is striking in black and white. Rodgers was responding to the question of whether or not his team needed a declaration result this lunchtime.
“I think if you read or listen to everything in the media, you would feel like we’re in constant crisis mode here,” Rodgers said. “This is how I feel.”
Something in Rodgers’ delivery and body language lacked conviction. It all seemed rather mundane or lacking in spark.
Pretty much as expected for Celtic today. All eyes are on the coveted Kyogo Furuhashi up front.
Connor Goldson and John Lundstram are both fit and back in the Rangers starting lineup.
It’s snowing a little in Glasgow today. From what we understand, there is very little chance of the match being called off at this late stage. Take the orange ball and continue!
Hello and welcome to Glasgow Derby Day! It’s the final Old Firm derby of 2023, a year in Scottish football that Celtic have dominated, but ends with a slight shift in power dynamics in favor of Rangers, which makes this clash so intriguing.
Philippe Clément is discovering the Old Firm for the first time and he could hardly have his team in better form, with seven consecutive victories in all competitions and undefeated during his 16 matches in charge. He even has a trophy up his sleeve in the form of the Scottish League Cup, aka the Viaplay Cup.
Celtic are assured of being top of the table at Hogmanay, but they feel their old rivals breathing down their necks after a number of dropped points in recent times, including defeats to Kilmarnock and Hearts before Christmas. Brendan Rodgers would like to secure a victory in front of a partisan Celtic Park crowd to take the pressure off the building. A defeat would only mean a two-point gap over Rangers, who will still have two matches in hand.
Stay with us for a fascinating afternoon of fiery, old-fashioned Old Firm fitba.