The stage is set at Celtic Park for a blockbuster Old Firm finale

Celtic could effectively win the league with victory on Sunday but Rangers are determined to keep their title ambitions alive.

The stage is set at Celtic Park for a blockbuster Old Firm finale Craig Williamson via SNS Group

Another day, another derby. But this is a significant one.

When Ange Postecoglou first put on the green and silver tie and walked out as Celtic manager, the situation was bleak.

A squad short on numbers, players short on confidence and a club short of direction.

Now just 56 games later, the Australian has the chance to all but clinch the Premiership at home to their fierce rivals.

The football gods have a funny way of throwing up these sorts of scenarios.

Postecoglou was quick to pour cold water on any title talk in his pre-match presser, but you’re not telling me those supporters in green and white won’t be walking up London Road with an extra spring in their step knowing what three points would mean.

To move nine clear of Rangers with just nine points up for grabs (not to mention the 19-goal difference between the two) would wrap up a title many already believe is heading to the Parkhead trophy cabinet.

With it comes probable entry to the group stages of the Champions League and access to the UEFA war-chest of nearly £40m.

The big question heading into this one though is; what hand will Giovanni van Bronckhorst play?

A battling 1-0 defeat to RB Leipzig has Rangers in with a shout of a major European final, and I’m sure the last fixture the Dutchman would have wanted wedged in between the two legs is a possible title clincher at Celtic Park.

The Rangers manager says they are making the short trip across the city to win – simple.

But how does he go about that? Does he rest a few players with an eye on the visit of Leipzig or is it a case of full steam ahead in the hope of a miraculous resurrection of their title defence.

If we know anything about this fixture it is that second best is not good enough – be that the final score or the initial team selection.

Yes, there’s always a risk of knocks and injuries in these pulsating 90 minutes and I’m sure in an ideal scenario van Bronckhorst would love to give a few of his bigger names a breather.

But when there’s a possibility of your rivals popping champagne at full-time, the Rangers manager must go all in.

Rangers have been brilliant in Europe – even if it’s been to the detriment of their league form.

They showed they can handle the heavy fixture schedule when they brushed off back-to-back extra-time ties to dump Braga and Celtic out of the Europa League and Scottish Cup.

They must show that resolve again as they head to their rivals’ own backyard trying to stop the beginnings of a title party.

This final episode in this season’s saga will bring with it many a Hollywood storyline and a blockbuster ending no matter the result.

Will Celtic strike back and all but clinch the title, or will there be a new hope in Rangers’ title defence?

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