Stokes eager for Old Firm clash
Anthony Stokes admits he is relishing the next instalment of Celtic's Old Firm duel against Rangers.
Last Updated: 15/02/11 4:07pm
Celtic striker Anthony Stokes admits he is relishing the next instalment of the Old Firm duel against Rangers.
The clash at Celtic Park on Sunday represents the second of four derby meetings between the famous rivals in little over a month.
This season honours are even in Glasgow, with the three matches played ending in a win for both sides, followed by a draw last time out in the Scottish Cup.
With the title fight between the two clubs so close, each league meeting becomes increasingly crucial, a fact Stokes is all too aware of.
"It's just the atmosphere and the rivalry between the two clubs," the 22-year-old told Celtic View.
"I think it's a completely different game - the pace is more frantic and the tackles are harder. It's probably the atmosphere that changes everything about it.
"I think the first 10-15 minutes are always hectic. It can be a bit scrappy at times, there are always tackles flying in.
"I think you just need to try and settle into the game and then after 15-20 minutes, when everyone gets a second breath, it tends to settle down a bit. For 90 minutes, they are normally hectic anyway."
The Hoops hold a five-point lead at the top of the league, yet have played two more games than Rangers.
Despite a formidable unbeaten streak stretching back to the beginning of November, Stokes is adamant that anything can happen on derby day.
"In all these big games, form goes out of the window," he added.
"It will be a very tough game, but we have gone to Ibrox and played very well against them, so if we can do that at home with the crowd behind us, I think we should be confident of getting a good result."