Another rival pundit puts Celtic in the drivers' seat; says Hoops could decide title on Sunday

By Euan Davidson

March 29, 2022

Yet another Rangers pundit believes that the Ibrox side could blow their title hopes with a loss to Celtic on Sunday.

The typically confident ex-Rangers players in the media are all singing the same song; if Rangers lose, Celtic won’t look back. That’s what Mark Hateley is saying, too.

Names like Ally McCoist and Kris Boyd have stated how important Sunday could be. The Hoops could go 6 points ahead of our rivals with a win at Ibrox; something that’s not necessarily easy to do. However, Celtic’s form, especially on the road, has been outstanding.

Photo by Jeff Holmes/Getty Images

With the international break nearly over, all focus has turned to Sunday’s Glasgow Derby. And with Celtic being such an irresistible force, there are nerves in the Rangers ranks, judging by their former players. Mark Hateley believes Sunday is absolutely crucial, and if Celtic win, that might be it.

Hateley, asked whether Sunday was a potential decider, said [Sun]: “Yes, 100 per cent.

“It will be down to the first team to blink. That’s how important it is. It’s vital for where Rangers are right now, how they have built over the period from Steven Gerrard to now.

“This is about retaining a title, which is always the most difficult thing to do. Winning the title is hard, retaining it is more difficult.

“The next Old Firm [sic] game is key to where Rangers will end up this season.”

Things are falling into place as Celtic’s big derby week begins

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Dominant Celtic have Rangers pundits rattled

As we discussed on Saturday, this has all been very telling indeed.

Mark Hateley is far from alone in suggesting this weekend is make-or-break for Rangers. Admittedly, the comments he’s made are slightly inaccurate.

Celtic, in the main, have had little trouble retaining titles, as 9-in-a-row would suggest. But that’s a digression; it’s all about this weekend and nothing else.

The Hoops have built fantastic momentum at just the right time. With virtually a whole squad to choose from after the break, Ange Postecoglou’s side could make it 32 games unbeaten in domestic football, and recent results have been excellent. Ross County were blown away 4-0, Dundee United, Livingston and St Mirren were all comfortably dealt with.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

In the last four games alone, we’ve scored 12 goals, conceding just 1 [Sky Sports]. That’s sensational going. If it hadn’t been for the international break, the Hoops would’ve been eager to take on Rangers the second that game against Ross County finished.

Instead, though, we’ve got some confident players coming back from international duty. Ange Postecoglou has been able to put the work in at Lennoxtown. Players like Kyogo, Jullien and Turnbull have had ample time to gain fitness. It’s a good story.

So, as far as Celtic are concerned, bring on the Rangers. We don’t fear them.

For ex-Rangers players like McCoist, Boyd and Hateley, the feeling is not a mutual one.

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