Scales admits 'massive' Ibrox clash will be biggest game of his career

Celtic are aiming to go four points clear at the top of the Premiership at Ibrox on Sunday.

Celtic defender Liam Scales admits ‘massive’ Rangers clash will be biggest game of his career SNS Group

Liam Scales admits that this weekend’s Old Firm game will be the biggest game of his career so far but insists Celtic will be treating it like any other fixture.

The Republic of Ireland defender ranks the derby as one of the best games in world football and knows Sunday’s trip to Ibrox will have added intensity with how tight it is at the top.

The 25-year-old has played in the fixture twice this season and has a 100% record intact with two wins from two that helped him cement a first-team place in Brendan Rodgers’ side.

But despite both sides being neck and neck at the top he says the Hoops will be treating as just another three points and not as a title decider.

He said: “The mood is good, we have been preparing well this week, we have had a good week to train and get ready for it and we’re feeling good. We’re getting everything right and well prepared for the weekend.

“People are getting back fit, we’re coming into a period where the midweek games have sort of slowed down and we have full weeks to prepare for games so its given us a bit of a breather and it’s been good for us.

“It’s obviously important in terms of the title race but I wouldn’t say it’s a title decider because there’s plenty of games still to play and obviously we play them again after the split.

“It’s definitely massively important and a win would be good for us, but we know it’s not a decider and it’s just three points like any other game so we are treating it like that.”

Scales admits he was taken aback by the intensity and atmosphere in his first taste of the fixture that he struggle to catch a breath for the first ten minutes.

But he grew into the game well and helped his side to a 1-0 victory over a Rangers side, then managed by former boss Michael Beale.

He then played his part again in the reverse fixture when Celtic beat their rivals 2-1 at Parkhead in December.

However they have since failed to capitalise on that advantage and are now only one point ahead at the top with Philippe Clement’s resurgent side having a game in hand.

That means pressure will be on both sides to get a result on Sunday and the defender is relishing the opportunity to be involved in the madness of it all again.

He said: “I think it’s quite equal (in terms of pressure), it’s so tight that that whatever way it goes it’s still going to be tight and I think there’s equal pressure on us both.

“I found the experience (of playing in the fixture) mental to be honest, to be thrown into the first at Ibrox that was mad and the first ten minutes I couldn’t catch my breath. Obviously we got into the game and settled well and got good results in both.

“It’s just a brilliant game to be part of and I am really looking forward to it again. It’s one of the biggest games in world football and as a player it’s one you want to be part.

“The intensity and the atmosphere in the ground all plays into it as well, in terms of intensity it’s up there with the Champions League games as the most intense I’ve ever played in. Then you obviously have the rivalry there as well which adds to it.

“They are always big games, but especially coming to the end of the season they get a bit more intense, so this one will probably be the biggest game I’ve been played in.”

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