Advantage Celtic: “Rangers had a fear factor in the last few games,” Lambert

Former Celtic captain Paul Lambert reckons that the race for the Scottish Premiership title has flipped back in favour of his old club because the fear factor got to theRangers as we entered the business end of the season.

DUNDEE, SCOTLAND – APRIL 17: Rangers captain James Tavernier is seen at full time during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Dundee FC and Rangers FC at Dens Park Stadium on April 17, 2024 in Dundee, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Lambert reckons that theRangers couldn’t handle the title pressure and blew their favourable position by failing to beat Celtic at Ibrox for the second time this season. To make matter worse for Philippe Clement’s outfit they then lost to second bottom side Ross County before spilling another two points at Dens Park ahead of the split.

Josh Sims of Ross County celebrates with team mates Jack Baldwin and Simon Murray of Ross County after scoring to give Ross County a 3-1 lead. Photo Stuart Wallace/Shutterstock

That flipped the advantage in Celtic’s favour as Brendan Rodgers more experienced side seems to be relishing the title run-in. Celtic now have a three points advantage and a superior goal difference as the two sides head into the final four matches of a topsy turvy campaign for both sides who have had their fair share of wobbles and surprise results going against them.

Daizen Maeda scores in the first minute of a Scottish Premiership football match against theRangers on April 7, 2024 at Ibrox. Photo Imago

Had theRangers beaten Celtic at Ibrox last month, and they had the huge advantage of having only their own supporters at the game, then Celtic would have needed favours from elsewhere to get back into the title race. Now Brendan Rodgers’ side could conceivably win the title next weekend against theRangers, depending on how results go this weekend.

“The one at Parkhead is going to be pivotal to what’s going to happen,” Paul Lambert told talkSport. “Whoever wins that will win the title.Celtic are favourites. They’re in the driving seat.

(the)Rangers had a fear factor in the last few games when they’ve not got the points, whereas Celtic have kicked on again. Parkhead will be formidable for (the)Rangers to get a result,” the former Hoops captain said.

Cameron Carter-Vickers of Celtic is seen at full time during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Heart of Midlothian at Celtic Park on December 16, 2023 (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Celtic play Hearts at Celtic Park on Saturday and can open a six points advantage with a victory against the Tynecastle side who have already beaten Celtic twice this season. Hearts won in December at Celtic Park after catching Celtic leg-weary after the Champions League win over Feyenoord.

Then in March in controversial circumstances, Hearts got the better of Celtic again on their own ground, although that probably had more to do with the match officials – yes, you the ‘incompetent’ Mr Beaton!

Revenge is very much on the Celtic agenda on Saturday and getting the win over Hearts will heap the pressure onto theRangers who play Kilmarnock at Ibrox the next day. Then it’s the Glasgow Derby the following weekend and it’s conceivable that Celtic could win the league that day if Killie take a point at Ibrox and Celtic beat Hearts then theRangers, both at Paradise.

After the Glasgow Derby Celtic have two remaining league matches, against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park and then St Mirren at Paradise on the last day of the season, hopefully Trophy Day at Celtic Park!

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

1 Comment

  1. I really get uncomfortable when statements like this are made, if I were Clement I’d post it on the dressing room wall. ‘The Rangers game at Celtic Park will be pivotal,’, none of us would have thought of that, thanks Paul. I’ve been watching Celtic since the early 60’s and we’ve had worse teams than the current one but the second half at Dundee contained about 25 minutes of ineptitude that I’ haven’t witnessed too often in over 60 years. We were atrocious, booting the ball up in the air and anywhere. We were rescued, single handedly, by a rejuvenated Jamesie Forrest and by effective substitutions (albeit they should have been sooner). If Rangers are feeling the pressure, so are we and were fortunate to take all 3 points against Dundee. Our midfield was posted missing, Calum doesn’t look fit, O’Riley was anonymous and Hatate was outmuscled too often. Iwata and Bernardo calmed things and Brendan has tough decisions to make for the next two games, which may involve benching our Captain.