As Rangers and Celtic prepare to go to head-to-head for the Scottish Premiership crown, the Ibrox side is in the unusual position that off the pitch things continue to look a lot more stable in Govan than they do Parkhead.
As Celtic prepare to mount what they view as a charge to 10IAR, Rangers are looking to lift 55 and lay down the marker which proves they’re back where they belong.
There have been plenty of Celtic voices trying to shift the narrative and pressure back onto Rangers, but things certainly don’t appear so rosy at Celtic Park.
There has been a raft of stories talking up £3.5m Polish striker Patryk Klimala, a player who struggled to get any game time after joining from Jagiellonia in January.
Part of the reason why is a very public dispute between Celtic boss Neil Lennon and quarrelsome striker Leigh Griffiths.
The Celtic forward was left behind for the Parkhead club’s trip to France and the Veolia Trophy with Neil Lennon publicly gutting his forward for returning to training overweight.
“We’re not prepared to do a lot more for him. Everything’s there for him. He’s let himself down and he’s let us down,” said a feisty Lennon [Glasgow Times].
“You can never say never about chances but he’s got a lot to do to get back in around it.
“The ball is firmly in his court and it shouldn’t have come to this. He shouldn’t have been out of condition and he shouldn’t have been heavier.”
It’s a trip to France which wasn’t fruitful for Celtic – who despite the sarcasm of Chris Sutton et al – will be well aware which of the Glasgow teams looked the more impressive in Lyon.
Rangers lifted the trophy and didn’t concede a goal, escaping with six points and four goals. Celtic didn’t win a single match, earning a point for drawing with Nice.
On top of that Lennon explained – in the current climate – all of his players have a price.
These are comments which will surely unsettle Celtic fans over the future of star man Odsonne Edouard, the Frenchman’s importance to the club now greater than ever given Griffiths’ situation.
Given Celtic’s excessive wage budget, Champions League football now appears a must given the financial constraints of the coronavirus shutdown – the club announced salary deferrals and reductions in early April.
The pressure is on, and it’s growing by the day.
Whilst it would be particularly naïve for Rangers to expect anything but a relentless effort from this Celtic side – they have emphatically answered their detractors plenty of times before – it is a refreshing change to see any infighting coming from the green side of Glasgow rather than the blue ahead of a new campaign.
If the murmurs of discontent continue, Rangers must retain their focus and take full advantage when the league season kicks off next month.
Keep the pressure up and we could very soon see things unravel at the seams.