Former Celtic favourite Alan Stubbs reckons we have a huge mental advantage going into Sunday’s Premiership derby against Rangers.
Neil Lennon’s men will round off their 2019 with a game against their rivals at a sold-out Celtic Park. We’ve already tasted victory in our past two meetings this season – including the Betfred Cup final earlier this month.
Rangers were the better side that day but our winning mentality shone through as we gathered the first domestic trophy of the season. And Stubbs reckons that Hampden clash could have a big baring on Sunday’s clash.
He told the Scottish Sun: “It goes to show in the Betfred Cup Final, it’s probably as poor as Celtic have played in an Old Firm game for a while, but they still won.
“That’s what a winning mentality does. Rangers have still got it all to prove right now.
“I’ve got to be honest, Rangers played well in the final. They adapted to the conditions better, but mentally that must have been a huge blow for them.
“They must be thinking, ‘What do we have to do? We played well, we played Celtic off the park’. But when you look back at the history books it will say Celtic 1 Rangers 0.”
Stubbs has picked out a big Rangers worry
Stubbs makes a pertinent point, and one that’s likely to be on the minds of most going into Sunday’s match. We were outplayed at Hampden earlier this month, were playing without a few key players, and with ten men for a good half an hour, yet Rangers still couldn’t find a way to beat us.
Given that that was at a neutral setting and we surely can’t play as badly, many will be pretty confident of us getting a result on Sunday.
Being the home side we are always likely to have slightly more pressure on our shoulders. Yet you could argue that Rangers are the ones who face the most scrutiny if the lose. Defeat would see them move further behind us in the title race and make catching us in 2020 a very tough challenge.
We are holding all the aces going into this one. We just have to make sure we turn up and perform better than in the last clash. With Odsonne Edouard up top, that should be a whole lot easier.