By support

27th Dec, 2016 | 9:11am

Darian MacKinnon rates Celtic and Rangers ahead of Hogmanay Old Firm clash

By Emma Sanders

Hamilton midfielder Darian MacKinnon believes Celtic have the edge over Rangers as they prepare to do battle in the Hogmanay Old Firm derby.

The Accies star has faced both teams in the last two weeks but after suffering a 3-0 defeat against Celtic on Christmas Eve, believes they are “a wee bit better”.

MacKinnon described the Hoops as “really good” but claimed they are not “miles ahead” of Rangers and acknowledged both sides are good.

Hamilton suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat against the Hoops prior to their 3-0 loss just a week later and could have taken a point off Rangers during a close encounter at New Douglas Park on December 16 but the Gers held on to win 2-1.

“Celtic can keep the ball better. Rangers are still a good side and I wouldn’t say Celtic are miles ahead but Celtic are really good,” said MacKinnon, as reported by the Telegraph.

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“I don’t think they played that well on Saturday but when they are on fire you can’t get the ball off them. I think Celtic are just a wee bit better.”

Celtic currently hold a 14-point lead over Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership table and go into the clash on New Year’s Eve as favourites.

They still have a game in hand to play and could finish 2016 17 points clear of Rangers in the league table.

Brendan Rodgers’ side remain unbeaten in domestic competition throughout 2016-17 and have already recorded two victories against Rangers this season.

They produced a thrilling 5-1 victory at Celtic Park in September before knocking the Gers out of the League Cup semi-final to set-up a final against Aberdeen.

Rangers have been in good form in December, recording four successive victories but Celtic have picked up maximum points from their last 13 league games.

In other Celtic news, this 25-year-old must start against Rangers.