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Celtic v Rangers: Write us off at your peril, warns Gers boss Warburton

By Gavin McCafferty

Published 09/09/2016

Relaxed: Mark Warburton insists that Rangers are content as underdogs
Relaxed: Mark Warburton insists that Rangers are content as underdogs

Rangers boss Mark Warburton has revealed Old Firm odds and predictions featured heavily in their squad meeting ahead of tomorrow's Celtic Park clash.

The hosts are odds-on favourites for the Ladbrokes Premiership encounter while Rangers are approaching 5/1 with some bookmakers.

Celtic have started their season on a high, reaching the Champions League group stages and topping the Premiership table despite playing a game less than Rangers.

Brendan Rodgers' men have netted 19 goals in five home matches this term, but Warburton was quick to point out that Rangers belied their underdog status during last season's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final between the sides.

Warburton said: "If you read the bookies' odds, there is no point us really turning up, which is fine.

"It's exactly the same scenario (as the semi-final). We had analysis with the players just now and it's been pointed out by many of them: same scenario, we are going to get beaten by three or four. I read four minimum, one very wise pundit said.

"They are paid to give opinions, that's what the game is all about, so you respect that. But it's about us, it's about Rangers, it's about doing what we do.

"If we go there and we're brave and we get on the football and we move it quickly and do what we do well, we will be fine. If we don't, if we're sloppy, then we will have a tough afternoon."

Warburton denied the Hampden win in April had been all the sweeter because they had been written off in some quarters.

"That would suggest that we doubted the quality of the players," he said. "We never did. We had no doubts that we could win the semi-final at all.

"We went into that game as huge underdogs and we knew what we could do. And we delivered it. And we go into this weekend in exactly the same way."

Celtic have undergone major changes since then, mostly in the dugout where Brendan Rodgers has stamped his authority after Ronny Deila appeared to lose his. They have also added the likes of Scott Sinclair and Kolo Toure but Warburton does not see it as a particularly different challenge.

"No, I don't think so," he said. "I think it's the same. He has added a few players. I said to you when Brendan came in he is a good organiser and he will absolutely look to organise Celtic and get them playing in a positive manner, and that has proven to be the case."

Belfast Telegraph

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