Alan Hutton has claimed goalscoring midfielders Ryan Christie and James Forrest are the difference between Rangers and Celtic.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Rangers full back delivered his verdict after Christie impressed for Scotland during the international break.

The 25-year-old scored penalties in Scotland’s 1-1 draw with Israel and their 2-1 win over the Czech Republic.

The midfielder has already scored twice in six games for the Hoops this season while Forrest, 29, has scored once this campaign.

The pair scored 21 goals between them in the Scottish Premiership last season and contributed 28 assists as Celtic secured their ninth title in a row.

And Hutton believes the fact they contribute at least 10 goals a season is the difference between the Hoops and Rangers.

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Asked by Football Insider about Christie’s performances for Scotland, Hutton said: “I’ve praised him very highly for a long time now. I think he’s a top quality player.

“He’s one of the midfielders that you could arguably say that Rangers are missing, who could get you 10 plus goals.

“Those types of players, Forrest and Christie, them kind of guys are the difference between Rangers and Celtic at the moment and their goals.

“For him to go away, get two penalties, he was the best player over the two games.

“He’s a standout performer at the moment, his confidence must be sky high.

“He’s another one of those guys who week in, week out you can trust him. You know what he’s going to give you, high performance levels.

“Neil Lennon must be real thrilled with him at the moment.”

In other Celtic news, Neil Lennon has been urged to start a rarely seen 22-year-old after a big injury update.