Celtic justifiably big favourites to beat Rangers, says Andy Walker

Celtic's Tom Rogic (obscured) celebrates
Image: Celtic are deserved favourites for Rangers clash, says Andy Walker

Andy Walker says Celtic have sound claims for favouritism ahead of Sunday's Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers.

Rangers are generally available at 4/1 while Celtic are on offer at around 4/6 for the Hampden showdown, live on Sky Sports from 11am on Sunday.

And Walker, who played for Celtic in two spells between 1987 and 1996, believes the bookmakers have it spot on considering the merits of the respective squads.

Live Scottish Cup Football

Speaking to Sky Sports Now, he said: "Yes, they are comfortable favourites for me. I think when you look at what the bookies have got Celtic priced at with Rangers 4/1 or 5/1, I think it's a fair reflection on the strength of each team's squad.

"Celtic go into this one as big favourites."

Rangers manager Mark Warburton is reported to have labelled the game as "just another football match", but Sky Sports pundit Walker believes he could not be further from the truth.

"I'm born and bred in Glasgow and I went to these games as a youngster for many years and eventually I was lucky enough to play in one," he said.

Also See:

Rangers manager Mark Warburton is hoping to tie up his January deals in the next week
Image: Mark Warburton says Sunday's Glasgow Derby is 'just another game'

"It blew me away, just the noise, the passion, the sheer determination and everything about the fixture. I don't think Mark will have experienced it before.

"That said, I think it is a bit of a free-hit for Mark Warburton. You have to remember this is very early in his Rangers career. He's only had two transfer windows to put a team together, had very little money to spend and I don't think anyone would be looking at Mark Warburton and criticising him if Rangers lose.

Celtic manager Ronny Deila saw his team respond to their defeat against Molde with a convincing win
Image: Ronny Deila in trouble if he loses, according to Andy Walker

"On the other hand, if Celtic lose you look at Ronny Deila and you can throw up a number of losses that have been painful for the Celtic supporters. I'm thinking really of the Champions League so I think Celtic are under more pressure to deliver at the weekend and we'll need to wait and see if it is a pressure they can handle." 

Fellow Sky Sports Now guest Paul Dickov is another to question Warburton's claim, insisting "no other game comes near it".

Celtic striker, Leigh Griffiths, explains why this weekend's Old-Firm derby against Rangers is as big as any.

The former Arsenal and Manchester City striker, capped 10 times by Scotland, said: "I'm looking forward to it and Andy hit the nail on the head there. When you watch these games, the atmosphere just blows you away and it is like no other game I have ever been to.

"And I think Mark is playing it down a bit saying it's just another game. Being born in Glasgow this is nowhere near just another game.

"I think Rangers have a decent chance. Defensively they've not done well of late but at the same time in players like Harry Forrester - an old player of mine - they have match winners throughout the team.

"Celtic will be big favourites, of course they will, but it's a game I'm looking forward to."

Watch the Glasgow derby on Sky Sports 2 HD from 11am this Sunday.

By purchasing a Sky Sports Day Pass for £6.99 or Sky Sports Week Pass for £10.99, you can enjoy access to all seven Sky Sports channels and watch on a TV with a NOW TV Box or on a range of devices.

Around Sky