Former Celtic forward John Hartson says the league title will be over if Celtic see off Rangers this weekend.

The Hoops will face the Ibrox side in the third league derby of the season at Celtic Park on Saturday.

Given that we currently enjoy a nine point advantage at the top of the Premiership with just eight games to go, victory would see us effectively wrap up the title.

Rangers FC v Celtic FC - Cinch Scottish Premiership
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Hartson certainly saw it that way when speaking on last night’s Go Radio Football Show.

He said: “Although Celtic are nine points clear, if they [Rangers] win they are making a slight first of it, and they have to win.

“They have to put in a winning performance against a team that have lost one game all season and are in incredible form.

“I believe if Celtic win it, and I have refused to say this all season, it’s party day.

“There is no way back. They will go nine clear, plus the goals.”

Saturday feels a little different for some reason. The game is less than 72 hours away yet it doesn’t quite seem like the build-up has properly begun.

Perhaps it’s the nature of the fixture nowadays, with no Rangers fans at Celtic Park this weekend.

Maybe it’s the fact that most people see the ‘title race’ as a bit of a formality, and have done for many months.

Celtic FC v Aberdeen FC - Cinch Scottish Premiership
Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

But Hartson is right. Despite our healthy lead, the game is still a pretty sizeable one. Win and it’s all over bar the shouting, draw and it probably is. Lose and things will suddenly feel a bit different.

We’ll focus on the former though. Win and it’s party time. That’s more than a bit exciting.

We’ll have all of the build-up on site between now and kick-off.

In other news, Celtic are set to face Yokohama F. Marinos in a friendly this summer

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