Celtic set for uncommon derby experience

By Hamish Carton

December 6, 2019

The Hampden floodlights will provide an uncommon backdrop for the big Betfred Cup final on Sunday as Celtic prepare for a different derby feeling.

With the game being in December, it is highly likely to be pitch black by the time the players come out for the second-half, and that’s not been the case in a game against Rangers for some time.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

In fact, you have to go all the way back to 2011 and that famous Joe Ledley game for the last time a derby was played under the lights. Of course our rivals have entered administration and liquidation since then, and haven’t won a proper trophy in that timeframe either.

But Sunday’s game pits the two best sides in the country against each other at the National Stadium. And the setting couldn’t be finer.

"Carl Starfelt to Celtic is a big possibility" | Swedish journalist Anel Avdić

Celtic fans will contribute to a big derby atmosphere

3pm kick-offs are extremely rare for derby matches. You only ever get them in cup finals when the kick-off time has been determined well before the two contesting teams have earned their spot.

The neutral nature of the fixture also means that – for the first time in a while – there will be thousands of supporters from both teams inside the stadium.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Derby games are now played almost exclusively in front of home supporters after Rangers threw the toy out the pram in 2018, so Sunday’s fixture may take a little bit of getting used to.

That equal allocation should add another layer to the atmosphere which has the potential to simmer and then explode. Of course, there will only be one team coming out on top – both in the stands and on the pitch.