Another 2 gruelling days for Celtic rivals; will play less than 72 hours before Glasgow derby

By David Walton

March 17, 2022

Rangers will be forced to play less than 72 hours before they meet Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-finals after their Europa League progression tonight.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side are through to the last-8 of Europe’s secondary competition. They managed to hold off constant attacks from Red Star to progress with their 2-1 loss in Serbia ensuring they won 4-2 on aggregate.

But it comes at a potentially big cost for them. The Europa League quarter-finals are due to be played on April 7th and 14th respectively. It remains to be seen who Rangers will face and where they’ll play first with the draw due to be held tomorrow.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

However, their second-leg will come less than 72 hours before they face Celtic on April 17th. Our Scottish Cup semi-final clash will take place at 2pm, giving Rangers very little time to prepare for the fixture.

Their first leg will also come just 3 days before they’re due to take the trip to St Mirren in the Premiership.

Celtic, meanwhile, will have a free week of training in the run up to the fixture. The Hoops will clash with St Johnstone at Celtic Park on April 9th, giving us 8 days to prepare for the Hampden cracker.

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No excuses Celtic – Rangers should be there for the taking

The truth is that there is absolutely no excuse for not beating Rangers at Hampden here. We’ll have plenty of time to get our prep done on the game. For our rivals, they’ll spend most if not all of their time on recovery.

Some will say that it just adds pressure on us. That it would be more embarrassing if we didn’t get the job done now that they’ve progressed in Europe. You know what? That’s absolutely correct. That’s the job. It’s down to the Celtic players to show exactly what they’re all about and make a real statement.

The motivation should be there regardless. We have the chance to potentially secure a historic treble success. Beating Rangers on the way to that would make it even more special.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

Of course, the game will come only 2 weeks after we play them at Ibrox in the Scottish Premiership. There’s a chance here to really dent their morale. Seriously put an end to this idea that they still reign supreme in Scotland

Celtic did good work in February’s derby. But the truth is that’s now in the past and nothing has been won. Beating them in the Premiership and then doing the same in the Scottish Cup? That would be something. Even if they’re playing in Europe 3 days before the latter.

The opportunity is there for us. Let’s see just how hungry we really are. Rangers are there for the taking, and we all know it.

In other news, Celtic hold Hampden advantage as key rival players crumble under derby hostility