It must be an Old Firm week if Rangers fans are having to put up with the excuses coming from the media on behalf of Celtic already.

Usually, by this point, Chris Sutton or John Hartson have questioned VAR or referees but, for all that there is only a week to go, it’s been all quiet on that front.

Instead we have sympathisers ahead of the Old Firm making Rangers favourites due to Celtic’s extensive injury list.

Rangers FC v Celtic FC - Cinch Scottish Premiership
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Will Rangers face a depleted Celtic in Sunday’s Old Firm?

Just how “extensive” is this fabled injury list that we have heard so much about though?

A quick look at Celtic’s starting XI and bench against St Johnstone suggests that there are a lot of smoke and mirrors.

Cameron Carter-Vickers is a big miss as Connor Goldson would be for us.

Maik Nawrocki cost them a lot of money but in Liam Scales they have an experienced SPFL defender who has played Rangers on numerous occasions and a £4m partner in Gustaf Lagerbielke who has been capped by Sweden.

It’s hardly Leon King and James Sands.

Other than that, Reo Hatate is the only player who would be considered as a main starter but Brendan Rodgers has been preferring David Turnbull.

First choice goalkeeper, full backs, midfielders and forward line with a bench full of players that they have paid millions of pounds for.

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They are the masters of controlling a narrative to deflect attention from elsewhere.

It’s an Old Firm that Rangers have to play after a major European game away from home and Celtic have a full week to prepare with an almost full strength team.

Michael Beale has to take this opportunity.

Momentum went against him last season when he lost the league cup final, now it is his chance to crank up the pressure with just a handful of games on the board.