Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has urged Celtic to make the most of their arch-rivals’ current slump after Steven Gerrard’s exit as manager across Glasgow.
The Lowdown: Celtic on the up
It was painful for Hoops fans watching on as their biggest rivals won the Premiership at a canter last season, with the Bhoys being denied 10 league titles in a row in the process.
Rangers currently hold a four-point advantage over Celtic this time around, but their Scottish League Cup exit at the hands of Hibernian on Sunday suggests that all is not well since Gerrard left.
Meanwhile, Ange Postecoglou’s side have picked up five wins and a draw from their last six league outings, finding a rich vein of form in the process and progressing to the final of the aforementioned competition, thus giving them the opportunity to strike first in the domestic trophy stakes in 2021/22.
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The Latest: Pundit makes Celtic plea
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan claimed that Celtic need to be ruthless during this current period, making the most of Rangers potentially taking their eye off the ball.
Those comments come amid recent reports that the Hoops plan to bring in major reinforcements in the January transfer window, with the possibility of multiple signings as they plan to reclaim domestic supremacy. Whelan said:
“They will be smelling blood for sure after what they saw from Rangers at the weekend. There’s a trophy which they will absolutely be favourites to win in December, barring a catastrophe.
“It’s a really good sign for Celtic, they’ll be fighting all the way to bring the title back to Celtic Park.
“On the pitch, they are keeping pace. They’ve scored a lot of goals this season, their goal difference is already superior to Rangers’.
“They need to take advantage from now and into the January window. They can really hurt them in these early stages of Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s tenure.”
The Verdict: Big chance to take advantage
This could prove to be a pivotal point in the season come next May, with Rangers arguably at their most vulnerable at the moment following their recent managerial upheaval.
New manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst may take time to make his mark at Ibrox and Celtic have winnable, albeit not necessarily easy, league games coming up against Aberdeen, Hearts and Dundee United.
January reinforcements could only help in that respect, with major additions being mooted, as Whelan alludes to, giving Postecoglou’s men that extra push before the business end of the season arrives. This could be the ideal time for an upwardly mobile Celtic to really push on and reclaim the edge on their biggest rivals.
In other news, a journalist has made an exciting claim regarding one Celtic player. Find out who it is here.
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