Celtic fan smells Rangers panic beginning to boil over as Hotline reckons Rodgers has Clement on toast

Celtic and Rangers are counting down to Derby D-Day and the fans of both sides are struggling to contain their excitement. And their ire.

Saturday’s top-of-the-table encounter in Glasgow’s East End could be decisive in the title race. Rangers are three points behind the champions heading across the city and Gordon Hendry, Ochiltree, reckons that situation might be different if they’d snared the PFA Scotland Player of the Year in January. He said: “Once again, after watching Cyriel Dessers on Sunday, if we had signed Lawrence Shankland at that time then the title would likely be heading to Ibrox. Let’s hope our board takes note for next season regardless of who wins the title this season. Dessers is not the type of striker we need at Ibrox in the future and it won’t make a blind bit of difference to my opinion, even if he scores at Parkhead on Saturday.”

Scott McAdam, Partick, said: “Celtic can basically put the title to bed which I expect them to do. Rangers would never have won 4-1 if Kilmarnock had kept 11 men on the pitch, but we look a team that is hungry and we have a few players that will hurt Rangers. James Tavernier must be having nightmares about facing Daizen Maeda again.”

Dr Robert Pender expressed a wish on Monday's Hotline that all games were played at the same time during as title race, but Robert McEwan, Mount Vernon, countered: “Had to laugh. Rangers have played before Celtic umpteen times this season and twice again in the split.”

Sean Finnegan, Bathgate, said: “Isn’t it sad the way Rangers play football these days? It’s always the long lob into the box and hope for the obligatory penalty. Oh dear, how sad. Never mind.”

Eddie Easson, Ballingry, said: “Celtic have gone into the lion's den at Ibrox twice and came out undefeated. Can the same be said about the other team? Brendan Rodgers says one sentence and Philippe Clement is spitting feathers. Graeme Souness must’ve been hit with a Yosser head butt. Never used mind games? Has he forgotten about his statement Men against Boys when his Blackburn Rovers drew with Celtic at Celtic Park? Martin O’Neil team slaughtered Souness and his team the following week at Ewood Park. Short memories.”

Eddie was, of course, initially referring to the Rodgers quote about having fun on Saturday that sparked a feisty response from Clement. But Gordon Ashley, Ayr , said: “If I was a Rangers fan, I would be starting to get very worried by the erratic nature of Clement. His form after a decent start has declined massively and, apart from the Real Betis game, he has failed in every big game since and several smaller ones with his interviews now becoming a comedy show. It mirrors his collapse at Monaco and Rodgers has had this guy on toast so far.”

Bill Lockerbie, Northampton , said: “Got to laugh at the uproar from across the city over Brendan’s fun comment. He also stated that Celtic Park “will be on fire” next Saturday. Surely the Strathclyde Fire Brigade will be next up on the “knock Brendan’s free speech” pedestal! You couldn’t make it up.”

William Hutchison, Aberdeen , added: “Why are Rangers getting in a tizz about what Rodgers said about having fun. He meant it will be an exciting game as so much is at stake.” William gave another point on a different topic as he added: “Well done to Falkirk manager John McGlynn for winning Scotland’s PFA Manager of the Year. It is well deserved and it’s about time someone outside the Premiership got noticed.”

Meanwhile, Neil Renton, Leith, had a view on Manchester United’s dismal 4-0 Monday night loss to Crystal Palace. He said: “How bad are United nowadays? Their hammering was embarrassing. I’m not saying they’re woeful, but even Hibs would take a corner from them.”