Two Celtic players key to winning vs Rangers at Ibrox

The Glasgow Celtic FC and the Glasgow Rangers FC Club Badges
The Glasgow Celtic FC and the Glasgow Rangers FC Club Badges / Visionhaus/GettyImages

The Glasgow Derby is getting close now. It is always a very important game, but this Sunday is even more so given the way the season has played out. It isn’t a title-deciding match just yet, but taking three points at Ibrox will represent a significant step towards winning the league. The fans cannot be blamed for feeling a bit nervous going into the match.

The good news is that the Celtic squad is getting close to full strength. Several players are all easing themselves back from spells on the sidelines. Brendan Rodgers should finally have plenty of options up and down the pitch to select from.

Hopefully, that will include captain Callum McGregor. We will have to wait to see whether he is fit enough to play against the Rangers after sitting out the last few games through injury.

The Hoops though have other players to turn to as they seek out that vital win. Two in particular could be critical to Rodgers' side securing an away win at Ibrox.

Two Celtic players key to winning vs Rangers at Ibrox

Reo Hatate returned from injury to play 60 minutes away against Livingston. He often takes a few games to settle into his rhythm and passing game. But last weekend the Japanese midfielder looked sharp from the off. 

Hatate played some great and imaginative passes through to the forward line. A chipped pass, a more trademark longer pass out wide, some swift footwork and interchanging shorter passes. He looked in great form despite his long injury absences this season and he certainly is someone with a point to prove.

Combine that with the improved form of Kyogo Furuhashi. The Japanese superstar has got a pretty good scoring record against the Rangers and has scored in both Glasgow Derbies this season so far. He will be looking to make it three in a row this weekend.

The combination of Kyogo and Hatate could make the difference at Ibrox. The forward's intelligent off-the-ball movement combined with the midfielder's ability to play clever passes could give the Rangers problems all game.

Add to that the wide play from the likes of Yang Hyun-jun, Daizen Maeda, Luis Palma or the in-form Nicolas Kuhn and there are plenty of options for Celtic, whatever starting XI Rodgers selects. Of course, everybody is expecting a tough game and the Hoops will need to take their A-game to Ibrox if they want to get a positive result.