Even McCoist admits Celtic are in "very good position"; says rivals can't afford to lose Derby

By Euan Davidson

March 25, 2022

A Celtic win at Ibrox could make our Scottish Premiership lead beyond Rangers, and the Bhoys are in a “very, very good position”, says Ally McCoist.

The former Rangers player and manager, and close friend of Tommy Burns, likes to wind us up on occasion. However, he’s been even-handed with his analysis of the Scottish Premiership title race.

On Sky Sports earlier today, the ex-Scotland international said that though both teams are in good form, Celtic have the upper hand. The Bhoys have a three-point lead at the top of the table, established in style when the Hoops battered Rangers 3-0 at Celtic Park.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

With at least two derbies next month; one in the league, one in the cup, it’ll be a frantic period for Celtic supporters, and a potentially glorious one.

Hardly the most popular figure around Celtic Park, McCoist at least has given credit where it’s due. And explaining his position on Sky Sports, he said: “I don’t think Rangers can clearly afford to get beat.

“Postecoglou has done a great job at Celtic. They’ve got themselves in a very, very good position.

“From Rangers’ point of view, defeat is unthinkable, it really is. I think that would make the gap far too big.

“They’re hanging onto Celtic’s coat-tails. This game coming up, I think we’ll see a different Rangers. It’s certainly a game they cannot afford to lose.”

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If Ally McCoist is saying it… Celtic absolutely have the upper hand on Rangers right now

Turmoil at Ibrox, a change of managers mid-season, unrest with the supporters… if there was a time to play Rangers, it’s probably now, you could argue.

Except, none of that really matters. Some clichés are true; everything external goes out the window when Celtic line up at Ibrox on the 3rd of April.

Still, if even Rangers-minded pundits are getting a bit nervous about it, it’s probably a good sign. Celtic, absolutely, are the domestic force right now. For all our rivals are competing in the Europa League, it’s domestic duty that’s most crucial.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

Few, if any, in the media class expected Celtic to be leading Rangers at this point in the season. Let alone with a fantastic, adaptable squad who have shown real flexibility over the course of the 21-22 campaign. Both teams are likely to miss key players, but it’s Celtic who look better-equipped to deal with that.

Ally McCoist – and I never thought I’d type this – is right. Celtic are leading, and beating Rangers wouldn’t just offer a material edge in the league, but also a heavy psychological one.

It’s going to be the biggest Glasgow Derby in years.

Read more: “Little superstar”; Celtic veteran’s heart-warming praise for Liel Abada