SCOTT BROWN will almost certainly lead Celtic against Rangers at Ibrox a week on Sunday.
And the Hoops skipper insists the potential powderkeg confrontation “will be fun”.
Brown was in the middle of the previous stormy meeting between the Glasgow giants which saw Gers striker Alfredo Morelos red-carded for elbowing the 33-year-old midfielder in the face.
Ryan Kent delivered a straight left punch to Brown’s jaw in the aftermath of James Forrest’s late winning goal in the champions’ 2-1 success and the ex-Scotland international was singled out for a verbal assault by a furious Andy Halliday following the final whistle at Parkhead.
Brown escaped punishment last week after the SFA charged him with “not acting in the best interests of association football” following his celebrations at the end of a hard-fought and controversial encounter.
Interim gaffer Neil Lennon has already claimed he had absolutely no intention of leaving Brown out of the final derby game – and that is welcomed by the team’s anchorman.
The Hoops mainstay, speaking to the Evening Times, said: “It will be fun. They are always great games. They are good for everyone to watch and it’s great for Scottish football.
THE WAY AHEAD…Scott Brown in control against Gers in March.
“It gets a lot of viewers for telly and if that helps improve the game and get money into the game then that is the way we need to go about it.
“I think for everyone it is a Rangers-Celtic game, whether I play at Hearts or Aberdeen, people get on to you.
“I take a lot, but all I have done is celebrate with the Celtic fans after the game and if they can give it out for 90 minutes I am sure they can take it back for 10 seconds.”
Brown was discussing the jubilation expressed by Steven Gerrard’s players after their 1-0 win over the champions in Govan just before the turn of the year.
He added: “I had people jumping over me at Ibrox the last time. I took it on the chin, I walked away. Each to their own. They did well they managed to beat us at the end of December.
“They celebrated and I just walked down the tunnel and whatever happened when they came down the tunnel, celebrating and shouting, I just walked into the changing rooms.
“We all respected that they were celebrating and they wanted to enjoy themselves. They caught up with us on points, although we had a game in hand.
“That was when we realised that we had to turn it around, get focused and we got ourselves ready for Rangers to come to Celtic Park. For us to get the goal quite late on to win the game was emotional and it is always going to be.
“People maybe saw that as a turning point in the league and they did not really like that. For me, it was a great day, it was enjoyable and it put us in a great place.”