HOOPS ARE BILLY’S FIRM FAVOURITES

Midweek Sport - - SPORT -

CELTIC leg­end Billy Mc­neill (left) be­lieves the Hoops are in a “pow­er­ful po­si­tion” go­ing into the Old Firm derby at Park­head next Wed­nes­day night. Neil Len­non’s re­ju­ve­nated side have re­duced the gap from 15 points to four with seven straight SPL wins, while Rangers have strug­gled for form in re­cent weeks.

Kil­marnock visit Celtic Park and Gers play St Mir­ren in Pais­ley on Satur­day – but there’s al­ready grow­ing an­tic­i­pa­tion ahead of the sec­ond Glas­gow derby of the sea­son.

Former Celtic cap­tain and man­ager Mc­neill claims his old club have ev­ery right to be con­fi­dent go­ing in to what he be­lieves to be a cru­cial pe­riod of the sea­son.

“I think Celtic have got to be favourites,” he said. “They are sit­ting in a pow­er­ful po­si­tion.

“They have played some nice foot­ball and things look good.

“This part of the sea­son is one that proves if a team are ca­pa­ble of win­ning the league.

“This is of­ten when teams lose their way but at the mo­ment Celtic look pos­i­tive and look as if they are ca­pa­ble of win­ning it.

Won­ders

“I think Neil’s team are play­ing well enough to get to the top of the league.

“When you come to the turn of the year, you have the Old Firm game, which is al­ways im­por­tant.

“A re­sult would work won­ders for Celtic.”

Mc­neill was less en­thu­si­as­tic about those Celtic fans who have landed the club in the dock again.

UEFA have charged the Hoops with “the dis­play­ing of a ban­ner of an of­fen­sive na­ture and the set­ting off of fire­works” dur­ing their Europa League game against Udi­nese.

Mc­neill said: “Celtic have al­ways had a great sup­port and it is dis­ap­point­ing to see peo­ple be­ing daft.”

HOT­SHOT: Jelavic is vi­tal to Rangers’ ti­tle charge, says Wal­ter Smith

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