CELTIC boss Brendan Rodgers reckons tomorrow’s Ibrox clash is a “must-win” encounter for Rangers.

The Hoops have the opportunity to go nine points clear with a game in hand over Graeme Murty’s side and are closing in on a historic second successive clean sweep.

Rodgers has not lost in eight games against their Glasgow neighbours since taking over in May 2016 and has emerged triumphant in three out of three visits to Ibrox.

He said: “We want to win the game and we will focus very much on our performance.

“Rangers NEED to win and that’s the difference, there is a different psychology going into it, in relation to that.

“For them, they must win the game.”

Murty’s outfit have hit four or more goals against Ayr United, Hamilton Accies, St Johnstone and Falkirk during a six-game winning sequence.

However, Rodgers takes more interest in the 2-1 home defeat from Hibs that preceded that run.

He added: “It should be a fantastic game because they’re in decent form, even though (a lot of) the goals they’ve scored have come against Championship teams, with all due respect.

“The one game of theirs I watched which gave a true measure was the Hibs game, against a team which plays with a good speed and intensity and aggression.

“That was a good measure of them at that level and it will be equally tough for us, but we can only control our own efforts and our own game.”

Rodgers welcomed back crocked duo Dedryck Boyata and Stuart Armstrong to training during the week.

He will assess the progress of the Belgian central defender and the Scotland international midfielder later today as he prepares for the trip across Glasgow for the High Noon lick-off.

Patrick Roberts, out since November with a hamstring problem, is also in contention for a comeback after being an unused substitute in last week’s 3-0 Scottish Cup win over Morton.

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About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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