Charlie Nicholas predicts result of 'must-win' Rangers clash v Celtic
Charlie Nicholas believes Sunday’s Old Firm derby is a ‘must-win’ game for Rangers, but he expects Celtic to come out victorious and win the title.
Rangers have a huge Europa League semi-final first leg on Thursday before the league clash on Sunday afternoon, where a Celtic win would give them the league title.
But despite Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side winning in the Scottish Cup semi-final two weeks ago Nicholas told his Daily Express column, via Daily Record, that he expects his former side to be victorious with ‘fatigue’ kicking in on Rangers.
“The Premiership trophy will be coming home to Celtic Park after this weekend,” he said.
“The mood seems to be that we have let Rangers borrow our trophy for one year but now we’re taking it back.
“Sunday’s Old Firm match is a must-win for Rangers but I still think the title is over because Celtic’s games in the run-in are all winnable. I know Ange Postecoglou’s side were defeated by their bitter rivals at Hampden but I don’t see them losing this one at home.
“It is remarkable what Rangers have done in recent weeks but I think the fatigue will start to kick in.
“They don’t have a lot of attacking options and they will need to sit deep and play on the counter-attack.”
We saw last weekend with Van Bronckhorst’s team selection in the league that Rangers have already started to prioritise the Europa League over the title.
A six-point swing with just four games remaining is almost impossible to overturn, especially with Celtic unbeaten in the Scottish Premiership since October.
Depending on the status of the tie against RB Leipzig after the first leg, it’s likely that the boss will rotate the side again to protect his players.
When he has opted to go with a similar lineup on Sunday’s after a Thursday game the results haven’t been great this season, so there is added logic behind his decision to rotate.
He won’t want to lose the game, because losing to Celtic to hand them the title might be the worst thing Rangers fans could possibly think of, but if they could balance it by winning the Europa League some may take it.
It’s must win if they want to keep pushing for the title, but more important is to stop the Celtic party and ensure they are in a good position in Europe.
In other Rangers news, View: GvB makes big call with five changes – Predicted Rangers XI v RB Leipzig