By Will Butcher

Davie Hay believes Celtic will record a comfortable victory over Rangers in their Hogmanay Old Firm clash.

The bitter enemies face each other on the last day of the year at Ibrox, before a three-week winter breaks kicks in.

Celtic icon Hay wrote in his Glasgow Evening Times column that Brendan Rodgers’ side should ease past the Gers despite them playing away.

“It looks at the moment as if Rangers still have a fair bit to go to catch up with Celtic,” Hay said. “Not just in terms of the points gap in the league.

“I tend to think that if Celtic are at full strength or anywhere close to it then they will be far too strong for Mark Warburton’s team.”

Rodgers has shared a dugout with Mark Warburton on two occasions this year already, which have both resulted in victories for the Bhoys.

A 5-1 victory in the league at Celtic Park saw French wonderkid Moussa Dembele strike a hat-trick, before the 20-year-old struck again in the Betfred Cup semi-final to secure a 1-0 win.

With four goals in two games against the Gers, the Hoops top scorer could be relied upon to provide the difference come December 31.

However, Warburton’s side have improved in recent weeks with impressive victories against the likes of Hearts, Aberdeen and an away win at Partick leaving them in second place.

Celtic, who remain unbeaten this season, are 11 points clear of the Gers with two games in hand as Warburton’s side travel to Hamilton on Friday night.

Former Chelsea ace Hay featured 230 times in both league and cup for Celtic during his nine-year spell at Parkhead, winning the Scottish Premiership five times.

In other Celtic news, this out-of-favour star could be set to leave Celtic Park this week.