LEIGH GRIFFITHS is determined to bring down the curtain on 2018 in style by leading Celtic to a triumph over Rangers at Ibrox.

The Hoops striker has Steven Gerrard’s side in his sights on Saturday, December 29 as Brendan Rodgers looks for a second successive victory over his former Liverpool skipper.

A goal from Olivier Ntcham settled the issue in the first game at Parkhead in September where Griffiths was among FOUR Celts to rattle the woodwork. The Scotland international was accompanied by matchwinner Ntcham, Mikael Lustig and James Forrest by being denied by the frame of the goal.

There were 60,000 fans at Parkhead that afternoon, but Rodgers’ men have threatened to reject their reduced allocation of 800 tickets for Ibrox amid safety fears.

Griffiths would relish the overwhelming support of the team’s followers, but insisted he will be out to silence the home crowd regardless of the outcome over the ticket debate.

The 28-year-old hitman said: “You always want your supporters there to make a bit of noise and to give the team a bit of backing.

HAPPY HOGMANAY…Scott Sinclair fires the winner past Rangers keeper Wes Foderingham at Ibrox on December 31 2016.

GOVAN GLEE…substitute Leigh Griffiths congratulates matchwinner Sinclair as Foderingham looks crestfallen. Pics: Geo.

“It would feel weird at Ibrox, but there will be a great atmosphere and the ground will be rocking.

“We do what we do on the pitch. We don’t do our talking off it. We go there, we do our job professionally and get three points.

“Regardless of whether we have 10 men or 11 men, 7,500 fans or 800 fans, we will go there and be competitive, be professional and do our talking on the pitch.”

Griffiths can expect to get some game-time in the run-in to the turn of the year with the Hoops preparing to face RB Salzburg in the final Europa League Group B tie in Glasgow on Thursday night with a trip to Easter Road to meet Neil Lennon’s Hibs on Sunday also included in the hectic schedule.

There are two home games against Motherwell and Dundee to be taken care of before the seven-in-a-row title kings play Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Boxing Day and then Gers in Govan three days later.

The prolific attacker added: “I wouldn’t say December will define the season, but it’ll stand us in good stead.

“If we can go through the month unbeaten it’ll be great for us. We have a trophy in the bank, could advance to the last 32 of the Europa League and, hopefully, have a lead at the top of the table.

“But we’ve got a lot of tough games still to come.”


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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