Former Celtic striker turned Sky Sports pundit Andy Walker believes that Brendan Rodgers will select Scott Sinclair for Sunday’s Old Firm derby, despite the Englishman’s recent poor run of form.
Walker claims that Sinclair’s record in Old Firm derbies – he scored three goals against Rangers last season – will see him get the nod over Odsonne Edouard, a player many have tipped to start the game after his excellent recent performance over Morton.
“I know Sinclair has not been as impressive as he was last season but he has done well at Ibrox, has good memories of the fixture, good experience and ability” Walker said, as quoted by the Daily Record.
“I don’t feel Edouard has played enough games to merit a start against Rangers, especially as Celtic know a win puts any talk of title races to bed.
“Sinclair has the pace which can trouble Rangers. If the Rangers lads see his name on the teamsheet, they would be concerned with his pace and the fact he can create and score.”
The Hoops go into the game with a six point lead over their bitter rivals, and a victory coupled with the fact they have a game in hand would see the Bhoys all but confirmed as Champions for the seventh season in a row.
In the two previous meetings between the clubs this season, the Hoops won 2-0 at Ibrox in September with the match in December at Celtic Park ending goalless.
Football Insider verdict
It would’t be a surprise at all if Sinclair was selected for the Old Firm derby, even though he has been in a form slump in recent weeks. As Walker says, he has a good record against Rangers, whilst Edouard lacks the experience of the derby, having only made one substitute appearance in the encounter. You also have to factor in that Sinclair is still the Hoops’ top scorer this season despite his poor run of form. The Old Firm clash could well be the game that wakes Sinclair up and reminds people of just how good a player he can be when he is on his game. If he has a poor game though, both Rodgers and the player will come in for some severe criticism from the support.