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  • Christie: Celtic form will be vital in Rangers game

    Christie: Celtic form will be vital in Rangers game

    By: Tony Connelly on 27 Dec, 2018 16:29

  • RYAN Christie said the current form within the Celtic team could ensure they end the year with a win regardless of who is available for selection against Rangers tomorrow (December 29).

    Celtic come into this weekend’s game against Rangers off the back of an impressive 4-3 win away to Aberdeen and are targeting a fifth successive victory at Ibrox to close off the first half of the season.

    Brendan Rodgers will be without Tom Rogic, who is currently on international duty with Australia, and the manager admitted Kieran Tierney was still a doubt for the final game before the winter break.

    Christie admits Rogic’s absence is a loss for the team, but he pointed out how well the rest of the squad has been playing and said Celtic are well equipped to secure the win they have targeted.

    “Everybody knows how good a player Tom is and he has that ability to turn his game on in the big moments,” said Christie. “I’m sure he’s going to be a miss but it’s a team game and we’ve never relied on just one player over the last few years.

    “There’s been so many boys chipping in recently. The likes of Scott Sinclair, scoring a hat-trick at the weekend, is coming into this game on good form and there are plenty of us playing really good football right now.”

    A win tomorrow would see Celtic go six points clear of Steven Gerrard’s side with a game in hand, and Christie said the Hoops are determined to take all three points.

    “It’s such a big game and a nice way to end this period and go into the break,” said the 23-year-old. “To enjoy it that little bit more, it would be nice going into the break at the top of the league.

    “Our aim from the start of the month has been to build up a points gap. We’ve done really well until now and this one really matters. If we get the win and get three points it will stretch us away and put us in a good place coming back after the winter break.

    “We want to be top of the league from now until the end of the season. It’s a huge game at the weekend and if we come out of it with a win, it really shows how well we’ve done this month.”

    Celtic will have significantly fewer fans at Ibrox due to the reduced ticket allocation. Christie said he and his team-mates won't be affected by any change in the atmosphere and are only further motivated to get a win for those in attendance.

    “I’m sure it’s not going to be quiet,” he said. “That’s part and parcel of this fixture and we as players need to deal with that.

    “Most players will tell you in big games like that you try and not focus on anything other than what’s going on in the game. It’s going to be a smaller support for us but hopefully we can get the win and make it special for our supporters.”

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