By Danny Wright

Kevin Thomson believes that if Rangers three points against Partick on Friday it will heap a load of pressure on Celtic ahead of the first Old Firm clash of the season next week.

The Light Blues can potentially move top of the Scottish Premiership table with a big enough win over Partick on Friday night, but Thomson has made it clear that their goal should be simply to stay within touching distance of the Hoops for as long as possible.

Celtic won the Premiership title with ease last season while Rangers limped to a third place finish – a staggering 39 points behind their fierce Glasgow rivals.

Thomson, 32, spent three years of his career at Ibrox and knows a thing or two about playing in the big Old Firm games.

He reckons that the Hoops contingent will be keeping a close eye on what happens at Firhill on Friday night, mainly in the hope that the result gives them the upper-hand ahead of next week’s all-Glasgow clash at Ibrox.

“Celtic have a strong team with great players, but they’ll certainly know what Rangers results are at the weekend,” said Thomson, as quoted by the Daily Record.

“I’m not saying they’re going to sit and watch them closely or get flustered by Rangers – but they’ll certainly look out for that result at Thistle and there’s no question they’re going to be happy if Rangers slip up.

“But if Rangers win the game and keep on building on that then Celtic will know they have a tougher challenge going into the first Old Firm game later this month.”

Celtic won all but one of their six clashes with Rangers last season as their great rivals finally returned to the top-flight of Scottish football following their financial meltdown.

The last fixture at Ibrox saw Brendan Rodgers’ side emerge as emphatic 5-1 victors but the 1-1 draw in March will still be on the mind of the Gers fans, who will feel that they can get something against the Bhoys.

In other Celtic news, a Premier League giant is plotting a bid for this Hoops defender in January – but it isn’t Kieran Tierney or Jozo Simunovic.

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