Kenny Miller has claimed Rangers will need to reproduce their “outstanding” December display against Celtic on Sunday to stop the hosts careering to eight-in-a-row.
The Light Blues would slip 13 points behind the Hoops with seven league games to go if they lose the third Old Firm of the season.
Former Ibrox forward Miller pinpointed how Rangers can learn from the two previous meetings against Celtic this season.
“Both were 1-0 – the first was a comfortable win for Celtic and the second a comfortable win for Rangers,” Miller told BBC Sport. “In fact, in both games, the winning team could have scored a couple more, so it’s been quite level this season in that respect.
“Obviously, home advantage has played a big part in both results. But when you listened to Steven Gerrard after the first game, he wasn’t too happy with Rangers’ first-half performance in particular. They never laid a glove on Celtic and he learned from that.
“Going into the game at Ibrox, his team was outstanding and it was their performance of the season and should have been two or three.
“Yes, Celtic weren’t at it, but that was down to how Rangers went about their business. They definitely learned from that first game and that is the message that he’ll be reinforcing on Sunday.”
Football Insider verdict:
Was Rangers 1-0 triumph on 29 December a one-off highlight of a campaign that promised so much at the halfway point but has subsequently fizzled out, or proof of how effective they can be when all the stars align? Certainly, Gerrard’s side have not subsequently hit the heights as they did that day, when they should have demolished a well below-par Celtic by three or four goals. One thing that will concern the manager is the main man Alfredo Morelos is yet to break his Old Firm duck in seven matches, and that could be playing on his mind if and when opportunities come his way on Sunday. He also missed a sitter for Colombia during the international break. Could that also have an effect? As Miller points out, lose on Sunday and the season is over for Rangers. Celtic can afford to be defeated and still march to the title, but it would be a bitter pill for them to swallow to lose to their Glasgow rivals on their home patch. Expect another thunderous occasion, in which the mentally toughest of the two teams win out.
In other Rangers news, are the club about to sign a soon-available Celtic player?