Celtic can finally put an end to 2 tiring pro-rival narratives on Sunday
There is no denying what the main goal is for Celtic on Sunday – 3 points and a massive step closer to the Premiership title.
That’s, in truth, all Ange Postecoglou and the Celtic players will be thinking about. Quite rightly too. They don’t need any other distractions. They know what the main goal is on Sunday and there’s no need for them to get caught up in the frenzy of the build-up.
However, for supporters, it’s about so much more than 3 points. It’s about derby bragging rights. It’s about being able to say with authority that your team is the best in Scotland. About having the advantage when it comes to post-match patter with your work colleagues and friends.
And it’s also the satisfaction of shutting up some frustrating media narratives. Celtic can do just that this weekend when they take the trip to Govan with 2 particular talking points.
Firstly, the absolute baseless Aaron Ramsey hype that’s cropped up again heading into Sunday. It’s something we had to listen to in the build-up to the previous derby. That he was going to change the complexion of the title-race and could even make his mark at Parkhead.
In the end, he sat in the stand because surprise surprise, he wasn’t fit to feature. And fast forward another near 2 months and his impact on Scottish football is just as minimal. He’s failed so far to be the key that was going to eat into our 3-point lead at the top of the Premiership.
Aaron Ramsey and Alfredo Morelos talk does Celtic a disservice
In fact, he’s barely made any sort of impression against anyone whatsoever. Immediately before the international break, Ramsey bagged his first goal for Rangers at Dens Park. Incredibly on what was his first league start. He’s been a bit-part figure and already it looks like a huge backfire of a deal.
Yet the truth is we know that he shouldn’t be laying a glove on our midfield. Not with the form we’re in and with the energy we have in that area. A solid derby win at Ibrox with Ramsey involved will finally put an end to the over-the-top hype.
As for the second annoying narrative? This idea that Alfredo Morelos is the difference-maker for Rangers in this fixture. We had to hear plenty of moaning Rangers supporters after our 3-0 win in February use his absence as an excuse. But it wasn’t just the supporters either.
You had pundits coming out and pondering the exact same thing. Stephen Craigan tried to float the suggestion days after the game [Scottish Sun]. Charlie Nicholas also stated that he was a big miss last time and that the teams can’t be separated when Morelos is in the squad [Scottish Daily Express].
Morelos adds something to Rangers, no doubt. But he went on a near 4 year run of not scoring against us in the fixture. He’s only netted twice and has been a part of plenty of Rangers defeats against us over the years.
This idea he is the game-changer for them does Celtic a disservice when it comes to the previous fixture. Let’s not forget how well we played at Ibrox back in August when Morelos was actually fit.
Getting the win and putting the title within our reach would firmly end this narrative that he brings them up to our level. But you always knew it was something that was going to be pushed after we gave them a doing at Parkhead.
We’ll see what Sunday brings. But ending these 2 talking points would certainly be delightful.