Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou believes the only thing missing from the Old Firm derby will be ‘hype’ after his side wrapped up the Premiership title.
Postecoglou and his players sealed back-to-back titles with a win at Hearts last week and go into the match at Ibrox with their prime target achieved and next month’s Scottish Cup final against Inverness to look forward to.
Rangers, in contrast, are guaranteed to end the season without silverware and are already planning a summer rebuild.
For some, the lack of high stakes in the sixth match between the teams this season mean it doesn’t carry huge importance but Postecoglou isn’t one of that number and says the match will still have an edge.
He said: “If we were going there to win it (the title) there would probably be more hype around it so from that perspective it doesn’t feel as intense in terms of the build-up, but I don’t think that will diminish the game itself.
“I still think it will have all the elements you expect in a derby game.
“All these things have context. Our goal every year is to be champions. The last couple of years it gets you into the Champions League and everything that brings with it.
“That’s where the ambitions lie but within that you have these individual contests that you know are important and significant to the club and every derby is that kind of game.
“It’s an opportunity to win against a very good team and the team closest to us in the table, a game that always means something to our supporters.
“It’s an opportunity to create another significant moment for us.”
The Celtic boss, who completely dismissed reports linking Celtic with a summer move for Ryotaro Ito of Albirex Niigata, wants a victory on Saturday afternoon for its own sake but doesn’t think it will carry any weight as a marker for the fresh competition between the sides next season.
“I don’t think it gives you any sort of significant edge in terms of next year,” he said.
“We just want to finish the season strong and it’s a chance to have a look at a couple of things as well from a team perspective building into next year.
“We will use these games to make sure we are ready for the cup final and also have a look at a few things that we want to work with.”
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