Celtic fans set for throwback derby atmosphere as Ange gets his wish for one-off match

By Hamish Carton

February 22, 2023

Celtic fans will be part of a more traditional derby atmosphere this weekend, and Ange Postecoglou is a big fan.

Hampden Park will be split 50/50 between Celtic and Rangers supporters as the two sides battle it out for the first major trophy of the Scottish season.

Around 25,000 fans of each side will pack into the National Stadium, creating a unique atmosphere.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

League matches since the start of the 2018/19 season have been partisan affairs, with 98% or more of the stadium supporting the hosts.

But things will be more even on Sunday. And Postecoglou reckons the split enhances the fixture.

“It’s a real derby atmosphere,” he said yesterday. (Celtic FC YouTube)

“When we play at Celtic Park or at Ibrox the atmosphere is very parochial in one way.

“For the home team I think that’s an advantage. We feel it when we play at Celtic Park. Having our supporters there, 60,000 of them helps us.

“In terms of a spectacle, and a derby, having it split, particularly in a cup final, adds to the theatre of it.

“I think the players and everyone involved enjoys that because you get a bit of everything in there.”

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

These comments aren’t anything new from Postecoglou. Last April, prior to our 2-1 win at Ibrox, he spoke publicly about his hope for larger away followings.

“When you look at all the derby games around the world, that’s what makes them a little bit special, you obviously get some parochial support from both sides.

“It would be great if we can increase that number over the next few years but just to have 700 there will be great for us.” (FourFourTwo)

Ange will get his wish for a one-off match on Sunday, although both teams are the away sides.

Like last season’s Scottish Cup semi-final, it will be a real throwback to how things used to be.

Given that we don’t often get the back-and-forth derby atmospheres anymore, Sunday could be one to savour.

Only if the result goes our way, of course.

In other news, there has been another cheap dig from the Rangers camp towards Celtic