'I Hate Saying This' - Hoops-mad pundit predicts Rangers v Celtic after Jullien latest
Noel Whelan has tipped Rangers to seal a narrow victory over Celtic in the second Glasgow derby of the season.
The former Leeds United striker and self-confessed Hoops fan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, has admitted he cannot see beyond Steven Gerrard’s men at Ibrox after their formidable form which has rocketed them to the top of the Premiership table.
The Gers sit 16 points clear at the summit after winning all but two of their league games this season, although Celtic do have three games in hand over their Old Firm rivals.
The Hoops, who went through a sticky patch after losing 2-0 to Rangers earlier in the season, have won their last four league games without conceding a goal.
However, Neil Lennon is sweating over the fitness of knee injury victim Christopher Jullien after he was stretchered off during Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Dundee United.
Whelan has admitted he believes Rangers will come out as 2-1 winners at Ibrox.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
“As a Celtic fan it’s difficult for me to say but I can only see one outcome and I think that’s a Rangers win,” Whelan told Football Insider.
“I hate saying this – you’ve got to put Rangers down as the favourites. The first goal is going to be massive in it, but I just can’t, I can’t see Celtic winning the game, I really can’t.
“I don’t think it’ll be a demoralising win, I think it’ll be close, competitive, well-fought Old Firm derby that you always get but I don’t think he’s going to be a 4-0 or anything like that.
“I think it probably will be, maybe, 2-1 to Rangers but I can just see them edging it, the way they’ve been playing this season and the balance that Steven Gerrard has got in that side now, defensively and going forward, they’re ticking all the boxes.
“I just think Rangers are in a zone and a mood that they’re just so destructive to other teams at the minute and they’ve got everything right – defence midfield and that attacking line is pretty formidable.”