Celtic will want revenege against Rangers, says Charlie Nicholas

Watch Celtic vs Rangers on Sunday from 11.00am on Sky Sports Football; Kick-off is 12.00pm

Scott Brown and Alfredo Morelos in the Old Firm 0:44
Former Celtic striker Charlie Nicholas says Neil Lennon’s side will be “hurting” and out for revenge after losing to Rangers when the two teams last met.

Revenge is in the air for Celtic ahead of their Old Firm derby clash with Rangers, according to Charlie Nicholas.

The Scottish champions suffered a 1-0 defeat at Ibrox on December 29 but Rangers have failed to keep pace with their rivals, who have opened up a 10-point lead at the top of the Premiership.

The fierce rivals meet again at Celtic Park on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Football, and Nicholas thinks the Celtic squad will have Rangers' celebrations after that win fresh in the memories.

"It's the best derby, for the passion," he told Sky Sports News.

"It might not be the classiest derby you'll ever watch but it will never disappoint in terms of drama.

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"This is a very special football match.

"Celtic are hurting after Rangers finally got that win over them but it was the manner of the win. Rangers looked like challengers then. Unfortunately for Rangers, that's disappeared and it's falling apart.

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"Celtic will be hurting from the defeat. The way that Rangers celebrated after waiting so long to get a victory - I can understand that. But revenge is in the air. Celtic will want to cement this title. The gap and the merit is there, Celtic have earned the right to go and bully Rangers a little bit."

The Hoops faithful were left in a state of shock and anger when it emerged manager Brendan Rodgers had opted to defect to Leicester.

However, Neil Lennon has come in and steadied the ship and the champions remain on course for a hat-trick of domestic clean sweeps and can open up a 13-point lead over Rangers with victory on Sunday.

Three points would put Lennon in a strong position to get the job on a full-time basis, according to Nicholas.

"They haven't done spectacularly well but they've been winning games," he said.

"Neil is a bright guy - he won't panic. People are jumping on his case for his over the top celebrations but why wouldn't he react like that? He wants the Celtic job and this game on Sunday - if he wins it - will go a long way on him getting the job."

Scott Sinclair battles for the ball in the Old Firm against Rangers 2:08
It's the third Old Firm game of the season this weekend as Celtic take on Rangers live on Sky Sports. Steven Smith and Simon Donnelly examine how Sunday’s game could play out tactically.

Charlie's prediction....

"Alan McGregor has had a great season and he'll need to play outstandingly well for Rangers. Alfredo Morelos is also an important player - he'll need to scrap for everything. But he has to deliver on this stage or people will say it could be time to sell him in the summer.

"Celtic's creative players hold the key though. Callum McGregor and James Forrest are the two players that can help Celtic win this match. I do expect Celtic to win if those two perform."

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