Saturday’s Old Firm derby is the biggest in years – and a Rangers victory could be the point of no return in the title race.
So says Alan Hutton, speaking exclusively with Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams with just three days to go until the judderingly significant Glasgow derby.
Both teams have one game to go until then – Celtic face Dundee today while Rangers travel to St. Mirren – but anticipation is fast building ahead of what is sure to be a white-knuckle encounter.
Former Ranger Peter Lovenkrands said on Sunday that if Rangers win, it’s lights out for any lingering Celtic hopes of a tenth successive title.
Hutton was a little more measured in his assessment but broadly agreed with his old Gers teammate, proposing that the yawning, 16-point gap between the two sides might simply become unassailable for Celtic if they suffer defeat.
“It’s Rangers’ title. It’s theirs to lose,” he told Football Insider.
“There’s three Old Firm games still to play. Obviously, I understand what Peter’s saying. If you go and beat Celtic, the gap widens again and it’s a mountain to climb, so it’s gonna be very difficult for them.
“As a Rangers fan, I’m saying beat Celtic and it’s over. But as a person who’s played football, you know there’s still so much football still to play.
“If they do win that game, you’d think the gap is too big to come back from. But you either answer as a Rangers fan or as someone who’s played football. So you can see both sides.”
Steven Gerrard has tried to foster a sense of calm ahead of the match, saying: “let’s not get too ahead of ourselves and stay balanced.”
Neil Lennon meanwhile has attempted to rally the troops, stating: “anyone writing us off now is foolish.”