Celtic

Rangers: Charlie Nicholas makes squad depth claim in Betfred Cup prediction

Rangers: Charlie Nicholas makes squad depth claim in Betfred Cup prediction

Charlie Nicholas has made his prediction about who will come out on top in the Betfred League Cup final between the two Old Firm sides as reported in The Daily Record.

Nicholas hasn’t had the greatest of success recently when predicting Rangers results, and has shown an apparent lack of knowledge of the Scottish game. Before the Ibrox club played Porto, he claimed they were vulnerable defensively despite having the best defensive record in the league and (at the time) eight clean sheets in 11 Europa League fixtures.

Nicholas, unsurprisingly, has gone with his former club Celtic to lift the trophy – which would be their 10th in succession – saying the champions’ strength in depth gives the Parkhead side the edge:

“The Betfred Cup Final between Rangers and Celtic should be some game. It was hardly a surprise to see Celtic and Rangers cruise through their semi-finals against Hibs and Hearts.

“There doesn’t seem to be much between either side and they are both in good form. We just have to wait and see what the next few weeks bring, in terms of injuries, form and their European involvement.

“If I was to have to make a call on it right now I would go Celtic. I would only edge towards them because I think they have more strength in depth.”

First of all, anything can happen in an Old Firm game and form usually goes out the window.

If Nicholas had said that he is backing Celtic for the win because they have greater experience of winning trophies and know what it takes to be successful, then you could see where he is coming from.

The problem is, Nicholas has again made an opinion and backed it up with the questionable claim that Celtic have a greater squad depth than Rangers.

For instance, if Odsonne Edouard gets injured, Celtic wouldn’t have a striker available as he is the only one they have at this moment in time. Leigh Griffiths has just returned to training but he hasn’t had his troubles to seek over the last couple of seasons.

In midfield and attack, Neil Lennon plays Callum McGregor and James Forrest in nearly every game. Meanwhile, Olivier Ntcham occasionally comes in for Scott Brown to give him a rest.

Steven Gerrard, on the other hand, has an embarrassment of riches in midfield, and he is able to rest and rotate at will with Premier League winner and Wales international Andy King not even making the bench most weeks such is the strength in depth.

In the forward area, Rangers can also call on Jermain Defoe to deputise for Alfredo Morelos. Defoe has only played 470 minutes of league football but is the current top goalscorer, 300 minutes less than Edouard – not bad for a backup.

For Nicholas to back Celtic is understandable – he is a former player, a fan and they are the dominant force in the country – but to make a judgement based on a fallacy is bizarre and a sign of his lack of knowledge of the Scottish game. Given his track record of predictions, Rangers fans will be hoping his recent form continues.

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