By support

12th Mar, 2017 | 8:31am

Erik Sviatchenko: This is why Celtic are 33 points ahead of Rangers

By Will Butcher

Erik Sviatchenko believes the reason Celtic have opened up a gigantic 33-point lead over Old Firm rivals Rangers is down to Brendan Rodgers and the winning mentality he’s instilled in the team.

The arch enemies are set to face off in the fourth Glasgow derby of the season, with Celtic winning all three encounters so far as they remain unbeaten in Scotland’s top flight.

Speaking to the Daily Mail ahead of Sunday’s clash at Celtic Park, Sviatchenko believes the ruthlessness and winning mentality of Rodgers has made his side become a different team.

The Danish defender compared the Celtic of now to the side that lost to the Gers on penalties last season, under former boss Ronny Deila.

“Rangers were on a really high level that day,” Sviatchenko claimed. “But then the manager came and we worked effectively — we had to become another team.

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“We’re different now and we’ve shown that although we’re so many points clear, we still keep on pushing. Now it’s all about the winning mentality which you want to show first and foremost to your team-mates, but then outwards as well.”

Denmark international Sviatchenko is expected to start at the heart of the 47-time Scottish champions’ defence against the Gers on Sunday as they look to stretch their winning streak.

Celtic’s number 28 has started all three of the Hoops’ triumphs over Rangers this season, and will be looking to keep the likes of Kenny Miller, Martyn Waghorn and Barrie McKay at bay.

A win for Rodgers’s side will see them restore their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership to 27 points, after second placed Aberdeen secured victory against Motherwell on Saturday.

In other Celtic news, this Premier League club is the perfect fit for this in-form Hoops ace.

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