Rangers and Celtic will face off in the Scottish League Cup final at Hampden Park next month, and the Old Firm duo will be looking to make a statement with a victory.
Neil Lennon’s men are keen to win a fourth consecutive domestic treble, while the Light Blues have a lot to prove following an impressive start to the season.
It’s the first time Rangers will be playing in a cup final since 2011, and the first Old Firm final since 2016 promises to be a huge clash.
Celtic will be without right-back Hatem Abd Elhamed for the game after he picked up a knock in their Europa League win against Lazio in Italy, and club legend Chris Sutton reckons the injury blow hands Rangers a huge advantage.
“In terms of match-ups in the Betfred Cup Final I’d say defensively it’s a big loss for Celtic when you look at Rangers in the wide area and it looks like it might be Ryan Kent on that side,” Sutton told Daily Record.
“So you’d have to say it’s an advantage for Rangers that Celtic are missing their first choice and best defensive full back for such a huge game.”
Lennon has Jeremie Frimpong and Moritz Bauer to call upon in Elhamed’s absence, but the duo aren’t as defensively sound as the Israeli, and Light Blues boss Steven Gerrard could look to exploit that weakness.
It remains to be seen if Kent will be manning Rangers’ left wing for the clash, but the battle on that wing could have a huge say on their chances of beating Celtic to the prize, and it will be interesting to see how both managers set up their teams.
Whoever comes out on top at Hampden will go into the second-half of the campaign full of confidence, and it’s safe to say the result could go a long way in determining who wins the Premiership and Scottish Cup.