Neil Lennon kicks off derby hype by insisting Celtic can win vs Rangers at Ibrox

By John McGinley

December 26, 2020

Celtic manager Neil Lennon isn’t making predictions about the upcoming derby against Rangers, but has insisted his team can go to Ibrox and win next week.

Steven Gerrard’s team are undefeated in the Scottish Premiership this season after 20 matches.

They also soundly beat the Bhoys at Celtic Park in the last meeting between the two sides.

However, Lennon’s team look to have turned a corner of late. There’s still hope we can travel across the city and stun the league leaders.

The manager said to The Scottish Sun after today’s 3-0 win over Hamilton: “That’s the best we’ve played for a long time. Everything about the team was excellent.

“I wouldn’t make predictions about the game at Ibrox, it’s too early for that. But are they capable of going there and winning? Yeah, they’ve proved in the past they can do it.

“We’ve got Dundee United first on Wednesday so it’s one step at a time. But we’re moving forward in the right direction. We look far more like ourselves.”

The Celtic boss is right, of course

Some may scoff at Lennon’s comments, especially those of a Rangers persuasion, but anyone completely writing Celtic off next week aren’t paying attention.

Lennon isn’t saying a win at Ibrox is likely, simply that his team do have the ability to go there and pick up three points. That’s true, despite their form this term.

Last season Celtic picked up an excellent 2-0 victory on Rangers’ own patch, thanks to goals from Odsonne Edouard and Jonny Hayes.

A lot has happened since then, but with Edouard beginning to look like himself again, as well as Lennon revitalising the midfield with Ismaila Soro and David Turnbull, we aren’t the pushovers we were a couple of months ago.

Odsonne Edouard scores for Celtic against Rangers / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

I’m not saying everything is trending towards a Celtic win. I’m saying defeat is not a foregone conclusion despite our apparent underdog status.

Nicking three points would reshape the title race and pile pressure on Rangers. A victory would also go a long way towards gaining the faith of Celtic fans once again.

Let’s hope we can win against United and travel to Ibrox with confidence.

In other news, Celtic fans have been paying tribute to Dundee United icon Jim McLean after he passed away.