John Hartson knows all about the big-game feel of an Old Firm cup final. The former Celtic man played in the 2003 League Cup final that Rangers won 2-1, and missed a penalty late on to level the game.

Now, talking ahead of this season’s League Cup final, Hartson said that whoever wins could get a huge momentum boost in the race for the Premiership title.

The two sides are inseparable at the top of the league this season and Hartson has acknowledged that his former side have a real challenge on their hands.

As quoted in the Scottish Sun, Hartson said, “With there being nothing between them in the league at the moment, getting that first cup under your belt early in December can make a big difference.

“Gerrard was brought in to try to improve the situation, when Celtic were miles ahead in every department.

“He’s been given funds to buy quality players. He’s brought them in and some good experience.

“I think there’s a challenge this year, a better challenge. I think that’s good for the league and for the clubs. And I think Celtic will welcome a challenge. Rangers have improved vastly. Alfredo Morelos scores for fun. They’ve got two good strikers and quality elsewhere.”

The last time Rangers won the League Cup was in 2011, when a Nikica Jelavic goal in extra-time saw them triumph over Celtic.

That was also the last season that Rangers won the Premiership – hopefully a good omen for the season to come.

Gers ended up one point ahead of Celtic that year and qualified for the Champions League.

In other Rangers news, ‘Unbelievable’ – These fans blown away by ‘sensational’ player v Hearts

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