Celtic legend Sir Kenny Dalglish believes all the pressure is on Rangers when the Glasgow rivals meet in the Scottish Cup semi-finals.
The clash at the national stadium comes as the pair also contest the Premiership title, and Celtic have turned things around to open up a six-point gap at the top of the table. With the League Cup already in the trophy cabinet, Ange Postecoglou’s side are aiming to land a domestic treble that looked unlikely at the start of the season.
A win for either side in the last four of the cup would mark a major shift in momentum with most of the season’s silverware still to be distributed but Dalglish doesn’t feel the knockout competition will have an bearing on anything else.
“I don’t think it’ll affect what happens with the league campaign,” he said. “That’s 100% in Celtic’s hands and there’s one Old Firm game to come [in the Premiership]. If they come through that then it’s almost done and dusted for them, isn’t it?
“You can tell by the way they went about their job at the weekend, beating St Johnstone 7-0, that they want to make sure they finish it off.
“I don’t think it’ll give you any insight into anything that’s going to happen in the league, this is solely for the cup.
“Whoever wins it will look forward to going through.”
Rangers won’t turn their full attention to the Hampden showdown until after they have played Braga in the second leg of the Europa League quarter-final on Thursday. The Ibrox side are aiming to turn around a 1-0 deficit from the first leg but Dalgish believes the domestic cup tie is the bigger game for Giovanni van Bronckhorst and his players.
“I would think there’s more pressure on Rangers to win it,” he said. “I know they’ve done really well in Europe and they’ve got a big game on Thursday at home.
“Whatever happens there they’ve done really well, even if they get beat on Thursday they’ve done really well to get this far.
“I think Sunday would be the more important game of the two.”
The former Celtic player and manager also reflected on the job done by Ange Postecoglou since he arrived last summer and rebuilt the squad.
“At the beginning there was a bit of grumbling but you’ve got to be fair to the people who put him in place,” Dalglish said. “They’re the ones who stood by him and been patient.
“Ange had an idea of what he wanted and what market he wanted to buy in because he knew it best. They stood by him and the people that he’s brought in have been really successful until now.
“I think everybody deserves praise. The club have to have the patience, he has to have the know-how and the people coming in have reacted positively to what he wants to do.
“You see the seven goals on Saturday were all scored by new signings.
“They got off to a bad start but it’s been some turnaround. I think everybody deserves a bit of credit.”