Rivals now have to face the Celtic scenario they were desperate to avoid

By David Walton

January 11, 2022

So there we have it, Celtic vs Rangers on February 2nd will take place in front of a packed Parkhead in what will be a red-hot atmosphere.

It’s set up to be an absolute cracker. Considering it’ll take place at night-time too only adds to the excitement levels ahead of the contest. The Ibrox club are in for a massive shock given what they were clearly hoping to achieve over the last few weeks.

Rangers were 1 of only 2 clubs to vote against bringing the winter break forward. The reason? Goodness knows, they never actually gave a logical one. Everyone else voted for it in order to give the Scottish government time to end the restrictions.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Today, that actually happened. The vast majority of Scottish football got their wish. Rangers, on the other hand, will be cursing their luck after what was clearly a decision made to ensure the derby was played with no fans.

The original date of January 2nd would’ve led to only 500 supporters being allowed in the door. That’s right uo our rivals’ alley. Look at the joy they had in our stadium last year with no supporters in the ground. It totally took away any fear-factor Parkhead had.

In addition to that, the Ibrox club also would’ve been facing a massively depleted Celtic if the game went ahead on January 2nd.

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Celtic won’t have the injury problems they would’ve had this month

The likes of Christopher Jullien, Jota, Giorgos Giakoumakis, and James Forrest should all be fit and firing for when Rangers come around. Just as well too given we could be missing our Japanese contingent along with Tom Rogic on international duty.

Yet another reason Rangers would’ve been desperate for the game to go ahead. A chance to face an injury-struck Celtic who desperately needed the winter break and without supporters even in the ground? They would’ve been buzzing at the opportunity.

Instead, things couldn’t be any different. They’re going to be up against a close to full-strength Ange Postecoglou side in what will be an absolutely theatre of noise in Glasgow’s East End.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Yes there are some tricky assignments to negotiate beforehand. Hibernian and Dundee United at Celtic Park won’t be straightforward. Neither will a dodgy-looking trip to Tynecastle – the scene of our opening-day defeat.

But this is the one – Celtic vs Rangers on February 2nd. This is the one we should truly be announcing our title credentials in the second half of the year. We’re going to have the setting that Rangers did all they could to dodge. We’re going to have the players back who Rangers were hoping would stay out.

There’s no excuse for us not to take advantage of it. If we don’t, we can kiss the title goodbye.

In other news, Celtic boss touches on Vasilis Barkas situation after only handing him 2 appearances

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