Heading into the League Cup Final at Hampden, it’s hard to remember Rangers meeting Celtic at a time when both teams are on such exceptional form.

Celtic, not beaten domestically since St Mirren won 2-0 in Paisley in September, have been begrudgingly relentless on Premiership duties this season.

The Glasgow Celtic FC and Glasgow Rangers FC Home Shirts
Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

Ever since Michael Beale has taken the reins at Ibrox, Rangers too have looked a formidable domestic outfit.

Whilst the performances haven’t been as slick as our rivals, a record of 13 wins in 14 games isn’t without notice with the only dropped points coming in that 2-2 Ibrox draw with Celtic.

It is clear that this is going to be a close encounter and everyone of a blue persuasion will be hoping Rangers come out on top and land a blow on Celtic at Hampden.

But the Parkhead supporters, and plenty of their lackeys in the media, haven’t paused to stop talking up their team of world-beaters heading into the League Cup Final.

Rangers have chance to silence Celtic in League Cup Final

We hear pundits, ex-players and fans on phone ins adamant that no-one can stop the Celtic juggernaut with Ange Postecoglou a tactical mastermind who blends Carlo Ancelotti, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola.

The fawning coverage is genuinely enough to make you boak at times but – whilst the positive commentary isn’t without merit – it’s a tad overblown.

Yes, the gap in the Scottish Premiership is nine points but that’s forgetting the devastating run of injuries Rangers had this season and that three game pre-World Cup run which looks to have cost us the title.

For the Parkhead fans, that gap, generated through a disconnect between the squad, Gio and the physio room, as well as Celtic’s relentlessness, is a fundamental one on the park.

The positive form since Beale came stands as evidence that it is a little unfair to hold the current standings against the quality in the squad.

Several things have transpired to leave Rangers trailing Celtic but anyone peddling the notion that Celtic’s XI, 18 and squad is light years ahead of ours is either trolling or deluding themselves.

Ahead of kick-off, anyone with an inclination of football knows that is likely to be a close game with the victory going to those who can find that extra bit of quality to settle proceedings.

Rangers will hope to use the swell of patronising arrogance coming out of Parkhead to take our Old Firm rivals down a peg or three and land a blow which puts the pressure on Celtic to recover.

Here’s our Rangers predicted XI for the clash with Celtic.

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