Michael Stewart pinpoints 'vulnerable' rival duo Celtic can expose on Sunday

By John McGinley

April 16, 2021

Michael Stewart thinks Celtic can exploit a vulnerability on Rangers’ left flank on Sunday and do some damage in the Scottish Cup.

After a dreadful season, Sunday is the last chance saloon for Celtic to land a meaningful blow on Steven Gerrard’s side this term.

Celtic staff and players have gone on the record stating their belief in being able to beat the Ibrox side on their day, but now it’s time to prove it.

Like most people, Stewart thinks the fitness of James Forrest will be absolutely crucial. He limped out of last week’s match against Livingston and it’s unknown whether he’ll make the upcoming clash.

The former Hearts and Hibs man reckons that he can give Borna Barisic and Filip Helander a tough afternoon if he’s fit.

Writing in his Scottish Sun column, he said: “For me, James Forrest’s fitness could be key to Celtic’s hopes. Rangers are potentially vulnerable in the wide areas, and the winger would be a major asset at Ibrox.

“That channel between Filip Helander and Borna Barisic on the left of the Rangers defence is where Celtic can get joy.

“Look at the Hibs game last weekend, and the trouble Martin Boyle caused on the right wing. Jack Ross targeted that area, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Kennedy did the same this weekend.

“Celtic have switched from a diamond to a 4-2-3-1 and they could pose a lot of problems down the right. But Forrest would be key to that with his pace, movement and intelligence, so Kennedy will be praying he shakes off an injury.”

John Kennedy has been non-committal on whether or not the winger will make the fixture, stating today in a press conference that a very late call will be made.

Michael Stewart not the only pundit predicting this gameplan for Celtic v Rangers

If you’re a follower of the 67 Hail Hail YouTube channel (like and subscribe!) you’ll know that Jackie McNamara has also spoken about this exact potential route to victory for Celtic this week.

Clearly, there’s a feeling that Celtic can expose any space left by Rangers.

Celtic winger James Forrest / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It won’t be as easy as all that though. We know it won’t. Although we’ve shown up well in the two most recent derbies, we haven’t beaten this mob since 2019.

I’m hopeful that Kennedy will get his team selection and tactics right but, more than that, I’m hoping to see urgency and fight from this group of players that’s been missing for almost the entirety of the season so far.

In other news, first-team prospect Dane Murray on the scoresheet as Celtic U18s thrash Aberdeen.