Danny Mills says that the refereeing performance of Bobby Madden will prove “absolutely crucial” in Sunday’s Old Firm showdown between Rangers and Celtic.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former England defender says that the 40-year-old official, who took charge of the third meeting between the Glasgow giants last season, will play a significant role in ensuring that the players are kept under control at Ibrox.
Madden showed two red cards in an extremely feisty contest last season, Alfredo Morelos and Andy Halliday both given their marching orders in a 2-1 win for Celtic.
Mills says that the Old Firm is a very different sort of game to other matches out there and that the officials have to recognise that when it comes to making refereeing decisions.
Mills told Football Insider: “I think one of the most important people on the pitch is going to be the referee (Bobby Madden).
“You have to take into account the Old Firm, the rivalry, the passion – he’s got to be firm and he’s got to get it right. It’s the same game of football but it’s different to other games and I think that’s what the referee understands.
“The referee’s game management is going to be absolutely crucial.”
Rangers won both of their home games against Celtic last season, while the Hoops came out on top in the two derby days at Parkhead.
The two giants of Scottish football head into Sunday’s clash with perfect records in the league, while they also both made their way into the Europa League group stages in midweek.
In other Rangers and Celtic news, a Football Insider pundit says that the pressure is mounting at one of the teams ahead of Sunday’s game.