Celtic attack provides edge over Rangers, says Scott Brown, as Alan Hutton sees narrowed gap

Scott Brown and Alan Hutton
Scotland team-mates Scott Brown and Alan Hutton were domestic rivals in the 2000s

Former Celtic captain Scott Brown – never one to shy away from a confrontation – claims the gap in quality between the Old Firm is “quite big”.

Ex-Rangers full-back Alan Hutton is having none of it. He insists the gap is “closing” as Scottish football’s big two vie for the title. An Old Firm disagreement? Who’d have thought it.

What we know for certain is the difference between the sides is eight points, with second-placed Rangers holding two games in hand.

Brown’s confidence in Brendan Rodgers’ Hoops side has been reinforced by the derby triumph at Celtic Park late last year, the fallout from which rumbled on for what felt like weeks.

The 2-1 victory on December 30 was Celtic’s second win over Rangers this season and ended Philippe Clement’s unbeaten start at the Ibrox helm.

Brown believes Celtic’s attack and lack of European action will give them the edge in the title race.

“As you’ve seen, the gap when they played just the other day there, it was quite big,” said Brown.

“When you play in big games at home, you are expected to win and put on a show and that’s what Celtic did.

“The way the Celtic front three press, the way they get after the ball, the quality they’ve got – I think that’s the difference.

“The club are probably are going to go a lot of Saturday to Saturday not having the European football. You get a lot more rest time.

“The [Scottish Cup] competition and league competition is going to be huge for them.”

Viaplay Cup winners Rangers will have European participation in the second half of the season, having reached the last 16 of the Europa League.

Hutton is hugely impressed by the transformative effect Clement has had on Rangers’ fortunes since taking the reins from Michael Beale.

Looking at the difference between the Glasgow giants, Hutton said: “I don’t think it’s as big as it’s been in previous seasons, I think Rangers are closing the gap.

“You’d rather have the points, there’s no getting away from that, but Rangers have an opportunity to close the gap and hopefully they can take that, but I think it’s close now, it’s small margins between them as we saw in the Old Firm game so I think it is closer.”

One issue that Brown and Hutton agree on is that Celtic currently have better forwards at their disposal. Hence, Hutton is urging Rangers to strengthen that area in the January window.

“I think that’s the difference between the two teams at this moment in time,” Hutton added. https://darsalas.com “You see the likes of Kyogo [Furuhashi], he’s a big-time player. He gets those opportunities and he puts them in the back of the net more than not.

“If Rangers can get someone in who can do that, then I think they’ll be in a good place.”

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