Hutton Exclusive: Rangers will be fearing fit-again Celtic player - 'What A Miss He's Been'
The revitalised and fit-again Leigh Griffiths has been a revelation with goals in back-to-back games – and he couldn’t be hitting form for Celtic at a better time.
That is according to ex-Rangers and Scotland fan favourite Alan Hutton, who spoke exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams ahead of Sunday’s Old Firm showdown at Ibrox.
Hutton trumpeted the in-form striker after he followed up his goal against Ross County last Wednesday with another in the 3-0 victory over Hamilton Academical on Boxing Day – his third and fourth of the season respectively.
The 30-year-old striker has had a turbulent relationship with Neil Lennon, with Griffiths on the wrong end of a tongue-lashing from the Celtic manager on more than one occasion this season.
In pre-season, Griffiths was left at home for a fitness-building trip to France, with the club’s hierarchy citing “social media nonsense” and a patent lack of fitness.
More recently, the 22-time Scotland international escaped retribution from the SFA but was disciplined internally for the club for breaching COVID-19 government guidelines.
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He has made just seven appearances this season, a calf strain ruling him out for the first two months of the season.
But Lennon appears to have renewed faith in the 30-year-old.
This is the first time he has started two matches in a row this campaign, and Hutton says his return to the starting lineup and the revival of his partnership with Odsonne Edouard can only be a good thing for Celtic, especially with the Old Firm derby just around the corner.
“Their form has turned. They’re hitting the heights at the right time,” he told Football Insider.
“If you see some of the movement for some of the goals in recent games, it’s been between those two boys [Griffiths and Edouard], so they seem to be clicking at the right moment.
“I’ve been very impressed. I’ve spoken throughout the season about what a miss Griffiths has been. He’s a great goalscorer, he’s that guy who, who normally only needs one or two opportunities before he scores a goal.”
Griffiths has averaged just shy of a goal every other game across 245 Celtic appearances since signing for the club in 2013.
In that time, he has amassed 14 titles as well as a number of individual honours, including Players’ Player of the Year in 2015-16.