Derek McInnes is hoping to “scratch the itch” of a victory against the Old Firm this season after failing to taste victory against either of the Glasgow giants last season, and he is looking to put that right in the opening day.
Celtic and Rangers were the only two teams that Kilmarnock never took any points from over the course of the campaign last time around and the manager believes the time is right for them to make a challenge.
They face Michael Beale’s side at Rugby Park in the opening day of the season on Saturday and McInnes is hopeful that their three League Cup group stage games will give them a slight advantage going into it.
He said: “The benefit of the League Cup group stages, even though it comes to early for my liking, is that you are playing competitive football and we can get the benefit of it going into these games when other clubs have to play competitively.
“The clubs that are in Europe have only been playing friendlies so far, so that’s maybe a slight advantage we have, we have got a lot of players that are ready and up to speed, they have done the minutes and done the yards and there is a few others that are still playing catch up at this stage of the season.
“There is no negative of playing Rangers, I think it is a great opening fixture for us, it’s clearly a tough game and we found Rangers tough last season. We lost the game at home 3-2 and we had our moments in the game, but when Rangers had a good spell they punished us.
“We beat every team in the Premiership last season apart from Rangers and Celtic, so we know what we are capable of and we’ve got to try and demonstrate our capabilities of getting a result against the best two teams.
“It’s important that we have the confidence and personality on Saturday to try and do exactly that.
“It’s an itch that we need to scratch and overcome the fact that we never took any points of off Rangers or Celtic last season.
“We expect a tough game on Saturday and it’s important that Rangers get that as well.”