Shunsuke Nakamura claims Dundee United — and not Rangers — could be Celtic’s most dangerous opponents in their quest for a fourth straight Clydesdale Bank Premier League title.
Nakamura is preparing for what could be his final Old Firm derby, Saturday’s crunch SPL clash at Ibrox.
The 30-year-old midfielder is out of contract in the summer and reports claim he is swaying towards a move back to his native Japan.
Before then, he will hope to be involved in games against Rangers, Dundee United, Hibernian and Hearts and he made a surprising prediction about which of them would cause Celtic the most problems.
He said: "I think Dundee United have the ability to be the most dangerous team we will face between now and the end of the season. We have drawn with them every time this season, and I expect a very difficult game on Tuesday."
Yet Nakamura is not taking his side’s arch-rivals lightly, insisting they are better than they have been at any point since he moved to Parkhead in 2005.
"I think the current Rangers side is stronger than when I first signed for Celtic," he said.
Celtic go this weekend’s game just a point clear of Rangers and Nakamura does not believe defeat for either side will be fatal.
"I’m not looking on this match as being any more important than the other games," he said.