Chris Sutton warns Celtic one slip and door open for Rangers but Hampden loss can be jolt for one final title push


Chris Sutton insists Celtic won’t suffer a Hampden hangover – but the Hoops legend has warned Parkhead punters the title race could still go down to the wire.

Ange Postecoglou’s side head to the Highlands to take on Ross County in the Premiership on Sunday with a six point lead and superior goal difference over rivals Rangers with five games to go.

But the Parkhead men are still smarting from the Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to their fierce foes and Sutton admitted they cannot afford any slip ups in Dingwall with the big two set to square up in Glasgow’s East End on May 1.

Sutton is convinced Celts will be determined to bounce back from Hampden and maintain the push towards an incredible title win.

Sutton, speaking on the Record Sport Celtic Podcast, said: “I don’t think the cup defeat will have an affect in any way whatsoever. In many ways it might give the Celtic team a bit of a jolt, it’s a reminder the league is not over.

“I never thought it was done. People have gone on about the six point gap and the goal difference. I get that.

“But you look at the nature of the split and the fact Rangers are quite capable of going to Celtic Park and winning, because the teams are so evenly matched.

“There will be Celtic fans who thought the league was over but after the game last week they will be worrying a little now.

“The run Celtic were on was incredible. I was more disappointed with the performance at Hampden. They lacked a bit of energy, which was surprising, and Gio Giakoumakis was a huge miss.

“Celtic weren’t sharp enough to play through Rangers and Rangers served to beat them.”

Sutton expected a Celtic response – but he reckons Dingwall could be Postecoglou’s side’s toughest test of the season.

The Record Sport columnist believes defeat would let Rangers back in to the race but a victory could put the Hoops within one with of being crowned champs.

He said: “Ross County’s home record is pretty good. Celtic are the last team to win up there back in December.



Celtic’s Callum McGregor (L) and Ross County’s Harry Paton

“It’s a difficult game. The pitch was horrific a month ago and we know Celtic like to play a passing game.

“We don’t know if Giakoumakis will be fit. I know Kyogo is back in but Giakoumakis has physicality and brings a different dimension.

“In terms of getting the momentum back, if Celtic beat Ross County they will go in to the Rangers game knowing one last push and the league is won.

“On the flip side, any points dropped will leave the door open for Rangers.

“Celtic have to concentrate on the process and go back to what’s got them in this position, being ruthless and super creative.

“Sunday was one of the only times this season where they lacked a bit of us in the final third.

“We must not forget how far Celtic have come. Fans would have bitten the hand off to be six points behind at this stage, never mind six in front.

“There’s still a long way to go but this weekend could be a step closer.”




www.dailyrecord.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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