Ex-Celtic striker Chris Sutton has stated that his old side are not the team they were last season, but still regards them as favourites for Sunday’s clash against Rangers at Ibrox.

The former Chelsea man admitted that Rangers had improved but also said that he expects Brendan Rodgers’ side to draw motivation from the fact they have been unable to match the standards set in their previous treble-winning campaign.

In his column, in the Daily Record Sutton said: “The motivation for Celtic should come from the fact they’ve not been very good this season and it’s about time they did something about it.

“There’s no question Rangers have improved. They couldn’t get much worse. At the same time Celtic are a pale imitation of last season. But it’s all relative. I still firmly believe Celtic can only beat themselves tomorrow.”

Six points is all that spearates the top two in the Scottish Premiership going into to a game where they will both be gunning for victory as well as bragging rights.

Football Insider verdict:

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There is some truth to what Sutton has said – Celtic certainly aren’t the same proposition they were in the previous campaign where they wiped the floor domestically but isn’t their failure to replicate those standards this year more to do with the other teams improving? While Rodgers’ side have stood still and remained relatively the same, Aberdeen, Rangers and even Hearts have improved. Going forward, Moussa Dembele hasn’t been the threat he was, but he’s 21 and an indifferent spell was always bound to happen. Then there’s Scott Sinclair, who fans have slated for his drop in form despite being the club’s scorer. And Leigh Griffiths has struggled through injury. And yet, they could still repeat last year’s feat by winning a consecutive treble – it’s not all bad then.

In other Celtic news, ‘I didn’t see him again’ – McGregor takes dig at Ibrox flop, deliver Rangers v Celtic verdict.

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