Later today, the Old Firm will be on thousands of televisions across Great Britain and the world. As Celtic travel the short distance across Glasgow to face Rangers at Ibrox it will pit Scotland’s two biggest sides against each other, and Steven Gerrard against Neil Lennon for just the fourth time.
Gerrard is yet to win any of his three previous meetings with Lennon, drawing two and losing one of his meetings with him. However, the Gers’ boss is in a better position than Lennon and given another season of spending he can challenge the Hoops for the top domestic prizes in Scotland, especially if Lennon gets the full-time job as he’s looked more than stale in his second spell at Parkhead.
Neil Lennon can be credited with helping Celtic to four of their Scottish Premier League titles, and with the club sitting on eight in a row in their pursuit of ten in a row the former Bhoy has done a great job of pushing the side on towards history. His first spell was a lot more convincing than this time around, though, and it would come as little surprise is the Celtic hierarchy opt against giving him the job permanently.
This clash later today could go a long way to Lennon getting the job, or not getting it as the case may be. The Hoops have got a third successive domestic treble to fight for and should they fall flat against Hearts in the Hampden Park final it will be a huge failure. That game is undoubtedly their biggest this season and gaining form and scoring goals going into it is key, so that, combined with the pride at stake when the Old Firm should give Lennon plenty of incentive.
TT GRADE: B
Steven Gerrard has barely had a chance to stop and breathe since he took over at Ibrox. The former Liverpool and England captain left his role as the Liverpool U18’s boss to take over in Glasgow and he could well be the man to restore them to their past glories. Today, if he can overcome Celtic then it will be the end of season success that the Rangers fans are desperate for, even if they are trophyless.
This will be fourth time lucky for Stevie G against Lennon. His first two meetings with the current Parkhead gaffer was whilst Lennon was with Hibs and they both ended in draws. His most recent meeting came in the most recent Old Firm and had it not been for Alfredo Morelos’ petulance then he could have got a result. This time, it will be different and Gerrard could well set himself up for a massive second season at Ibrox with a win here.
TT GRADE: A
The Old Firm is always a classic and with Neil Lennon a regular in this fixture it might be time he moved aside and let a new man take on the Celtic challenge. Until that happens, his outdated football will make his Celtic side outside favourites against Rangers, and Steven Gerrard simply has to edge this battle ahead of the experienced Celtic man.