Neil Lennon can take advantage of Rangers' lack of focus on derby this week

By John McGinley

March 12, 2020

Rangers midfielder Scott Arfield has admitted that his team won’t even be thinking about the upcoming match against Celtic until Friday morning, The Scottish Sun report.

Neil Lennon and his squad have had a free mid-week for the first time in what feels like an age after the weekend’s dominant win over St Mirren.

With nothing but preparation for the derby on minds at Lennoxtown, we should be extra prepared for the fixture, not to mention well-rested and fully fit.

Rangers, on the other hand, have had to navigate a difficult Europa League tie against Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen.

While Celtic would undoubtedly have preferred to be involved in the last 16 of the competition too, the difference could have its advantages this weekend.

Celtic on verge of first January signing, as Hatate says his goodbyes | Celtic vs Aberdeen Preview

That was highlightd by Arfield this week, who told The Scottish Sun that the derby won’t even be on his mind until tomorrow.

He said: “Since the gaffer has come in we have always adopted a one game at a time mentality.

“We’d be naive to overlook the quality of this type of opposition at this stage of the competition.

“If you start thinking about other matches, you’re only going to set yourself up for an even tougher night.

“We’ll start looking at the next game on Friday morning.”

Celtic in action against Rangers / (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Clearly Celtic must look to exploit any complacency when it comes to the Scottish Premiership match and perhaps even catch them a bit cold in the opening stages of the match.

Our energy levels should be much higher when John Beaton blows the whistle and we must make sure our press is overwhelming and that our players are relentless on and off the ball.

That kind of aggressive approach could really put them on the backfoot even though they’re playing on their own patch.

It’s going to be fascinating to see if the extra preparation has allowed Lennon to hold a trick or two up his sleeve when it comes to Sunday’s tactical battle.