The gulf between the fortunes of Glasgows two great clubs will be there for all to see in the next few days as both Celtic and Rangers face new challenges in what is rapidly becoming a season which will go down in history as one we may never see again.
Whilst the Hoops travel to Motherwell for a top of the table clash their old rivals will be making the unfamiliar trip to the tiny Highland town of Forres as they enter the Scottish Cup at only the second round stage.
So what can we expect this weekend? Well here’s my preview of the two games.
- Motherwell v Celtic
After a stuttering start to the defence of their title Celtic look as if they are finally ready to find their form as they chase success on all three fronts domestically as well as making their mark in the Champions League.
A comfortable scalping of Dundee in the League Cup this week in which Gary Hooper ran riot with a superb four goal haul was an ideal warm up for Neil Lennons men who head to Lanarkshire for the lunch time kick off against Motherwell.
Despite the prospect of a massive European tie in Moscow to play on Tuesday I don’t expect Lennon to make a raft of personnel changes as he will be keen his team flexes their muscles and show just why they are defending champions.
Their opponents go into this one on the back of a lack lustre midweek display at Ibrox as they crashed out of the League Cup and it will be intriguing to see how they handle the fall out from that loss with this big test tackling the hoops.
I’m hoping for a corker with the men from the east end of Glasgow coming out on top. Prediction: Motherwell 1 Celtic 2
Forres Mechanics v Rangers
Just when you thought the story of Rangers incredible season down amongst the small part-time clubs of the Scottish game couldn’t get any more surreal this Saturday we have the incredible prospect of the former 54 times champions taking the field at the quaint little Mosset park ground which holds a paltry 1476.
Situated to the east of Inverness the tiny little Highland town of Forres has been overrun by cup fever this week as the team currently occupying tenth position in the Press and Journal Highland League prepare for the visit of Ally McCoists men.
And fair credit to the Mechanics directors who rejected the opportunity of switching the tie to a larger ground and the potential of a huge financial windfall to ensure McCoists highly paid, pampered players will have to play their next game in what is nothing more than a glorified juniors park.
Now the term ‘romance of the cup’ will probably be uttered a thousand times and more in the build up to this match but despite their travails on their journeys around the SFL grounds the men from Govan should be far too strong for their part-time opponents especially as they go into the match after recording their best performance of the season on Wednesday when they put Motherwell to the sword in the League Cup.
- Prediction: Forres Mechanics 0 Rangers 3