Celtic go to Ibrox today in red-hot form when it comes to derby matches.

Brendan Rodgers has faced Rangers 12 times as Celtic manager and has never been on the losing side.

He has won 10 of those 12 meetings and will be hoping it’s not unlucky 13 today.

Celtic have been dogged by injury worries and international call-offs ahead of the derby at Ibrox.

Yet, they could take inspiration from January 2nd 2011, when a similar situation produced one of the best Celtic victories over their rivals.

Neil Lennon, in his first full season as manager, took a banged up Celtic to Ibrox.

Samaras hadn’t scored a league goal that season until he went to Ibrox (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Ironically, like Tom Rogic’s absence in 2018, the Asian Cup ruled out Cha Du Ri and Ki Sung Yueng. Lennon was forced to shuffle his pack.

No one expected a Celtic victory, in fact a lot of Celtic fans had their hopes pinned on a new hero saving the day.

Freddie Ljungberg had just signed a deal with Celtic until the end of the season. The former Arsenal man’s supposed first start was the big derby game.

When he was ruled out an hour before kick off, fans began to fear the worst. What happened in the next 90 minutes, however, made Lennon a manager.

Celtic not only bossed the game, but they competed with Rangers physically. This was something that we hadn’t seen from a Celtic side since the Martin O’Neill days.

Beram Kayal made his presence felt early on, clattering Lee McCulloch. The Israeli midfielder announced himself at Celtic that day. It was a coming out party for the players and manager.

Lennon salutes his match-winner. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

In the second half, at 0-0, Joe Ledley fired an exquisite pass through the middle of Rangers’ defence. Georgios Samaras latched onto it, with Allan McGregor committing himself to the challenge.

With an empty net, the Greek striker rolled the ball home before joining the delirious Celtic fans in the stands.

In nine years, there had only been three derby matches in which the team who scored first lost. They all happened to be Celtic in all three occasions.

The last one just happened to be the previous derby. Celtic lost 3-1 despite having a half-time lead at Parkhead.

With that fresh in the memory, no Celtic fan was confident in the scoreline remaining 1-0. And it didn’t.

Samaras burst away down the right, before teasing the Rangers defender into bringing him down inside the box. The ref had no option but to give Celtic a penalty.

A confident Samaras stepped up, and despite McGregor going the right way, the penalty was so sweetly struck it nestled in the corner.

The game finished 2-0 and suddenly everyone started to believe Celtic were going places under Lennon.

The first goal sparked a scene of wild jubilation among the Celtic fans. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Replicating Samaras Sunday

Celtic may already have the stranglehold over their rivals, unlike that day nearly eight years ago now.

However, they must go a long way to repeating the Celtic performance that day if they want to overcome injuries and absences.

Rodgers has felt at home in these derby matches since arriving in 2016. This one will be somewhat different however. There will only be around 800 Celtic fans at the match.

We won’t be seeing repeats of the scenes in the Broomloan Stand from Samaras Sunday, that’s for sure

However, if someone steps up like Sammy did back then, it will be another trip to Ibrox to savour.

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