James Forrest expects Celtic derby clash to be a close encounter

By John Reid

December 27, 2019

Celtic winger James Forrest is no stranger to the Glasgow derby. He has played in a number of the fixtures in his decade at Celtic Park.

Therefore, he is well qualified to judge what kind of match Sunday’s meeting between Celtic and Rangers will be. The Hoops attacker thinks that the game will be ‘tight’.

“It’s going to be tight”

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

“The last few times we’ve played, the games have been close. We know it’s going to be tight, and we’re going to need to be at our best if we want to get three points” he told the Celtic Twitter account.

Interestingly, in Neil Lennon’s three wins since returning as Celtic manager, the Hoops have won by one goal on two occasions, and two goals on one occasion. As Forrest suggests, the games, have been ‘tight’.

That was certainly true of the recent Betfred Cup Final, where the Hoops were indebted to Fraser Forster, whose man of the match performance secured a 1-0 win.

One way that would ensure that the game isn’t as close as Forrest expects it to be, would be if the Celtic winger takes the game by the scruff of the neck.

Doesn’t have the best record against rivals

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

For a player with such a good scoring record, Forrest has found it difficult to find the back of the net against the Hoops’ biggest rivals on a regular basis.

He has scored only two goals against the Ibrox side. The first came in the 5-0 title clincher in 2018, and the second was the winning goal in the 2-1 win at Celtic Park in Neil Lennon’s first derby in charge as caretaker manager in March.

To be fair, there has been so little between Celtic and Rangers this season that Forrest is probably right about how close the game will be. However, if Celtic can play at their best, and better than they did in the Betfred Cup Final, the Hoops can get the win and performance that would send a message to their better rivals, that the league title is going nowhere.