Celtic right-back Jeremy Toljan believes that Rangers are under more pressure than Celtic on Sunday.
The on-loan Borussia Dortmund man is looking forward to his first Glasgow derby. It could be his only ever clash with Rangers at Parkhead, given he’s due to head back to Germany in the summer.
Celtic go into this match in a commanding position. Three points will take them up to 13 clear of their Glasgow rivals in the Premiership table. With just seven games remaining after Sunday, Rangers haven’t shown anything to suggest they could eat away at that margin of lead.
Toljan buys into that idea that it’s win or bust for Rangers. Speaking in the Celtic View (Volume 54, Issue 35, Page 21), the German says the pressure is all on Rangers due to their league position.
“The gap at the top certainly helps. You can go into the game very comfortable, but even though we don’t need to win, we want to win and we want to win convincingly – that’s for sure.
“Our league lead allows us to go into the game with a little more comfort, and allows us to play our game, especially at home.
“Rangers are under more pressure to perform, and I think this suits our game more than it does them. We can take our time, play our normal game, our normal possession football, and hopefully come out on top.”
Spoken like a man who hasn’t been part of the fixture
Toljan is going to learn a lot on Sunday. But perhaps the most hard-hitting will be how much pressure BOTH sides are under come kick-off.
In terms of the league title, you can’t argue with the German. The title is pretty much in the bag, and only an absolute catastrophe would stop that from being the case.
But in terms of bragging rights and the sheer passion of this derby, that’s enough to throw weight onto our players’ shoulders. This isn’t abou just another three points in a runaway title charge. This is about slapping Rangers back into their place after the embarrassment we suffered back in December – a game Toljan funnily enough wasn’t here for.
Regardless of the title, Rangers still have some bragging rights in the fact that they beat Celtic last time out. Only hammering them down at Celtic Park will fully put to bed that 1-0 loss at Ibrox.
Rangers are under pressure to keep their supposed title-challenge alive. For Celtic, however, the pressure is on to put Steven Gerrard’s men in their place. Toljan will surely feel that come Sunday in front of the Parkhead faithful.