CHARLIE NICHOLAS isn’t confident Celtic can do the business against their Glasgow rivals on Wednesday night.
The former Celtic player cites the average performance by the Hoops against Dundee Utd after the Ibrox club dropped points earlier on Saturday.
Celtic have pulled a six-point gap back to just two points before the derby, something many fans believed wouldn’t happen. The derby was seen as a chance to cut into that six-point gap, now a win could put the bhoys top of the table.
Nicholas is always a pessimist when it comes to his former club and will always bang that drum.
There’s no doubt it’s going to be tough for Celtic and so many derby debutants to do the business, but they have a great chance.
Writing in his Express column and cited by RecordSport, the pundit said:
“Celtic have to go for it, even if it’s not about leapfrogging their biggest rivals right now for Ange.
“Of course, it’s important for the Hoops supporters. But, for the Australian boss, the final table is all that matters. And he is right.
“However, it would still be massive for Celtic if they were to win against their Glasgow foes.
“Things have changed dramatically in recent weeks – and the Bhoys have to be confident with the game at Celtic Park – with Saturday’s late win over Dundee United being celebrated for a good 10 minutes after the final whistle.
“But it was nothing more than an average performance, considering Rangers had dropped two points earlier in the day at Ross County.
“Celtic might have beaten United and held off a spirited Hearts in their last two games, but they have lost their rhythm and composure.
“Nir Bitton was massive in both but he then got himself suspended with a second booking against the Arabs.
“Celtic finished with an inexperienced side and credit to them for digging out a win through Liel Abada’s 90th-minute tap-in after appearing to be running on empty.
“But neither side is playing well. My old club are just hanging in and the Gers are a mess defensively.”
The game is set up nicely and should be one of the most hotly contested derbies in years.
Ange will send out his new look side and ask for a big performance – even with some major absentees.
Nicholas has tipped the game to end in a score draw.