Momentum is a hell of a thing in Scottish football and ahead of the first Old Firm of the season, it’s started swinging towards Rangers and away from Celtic.

Whilst it’s early days in the campaign, as Michael Beale’s Rangers side begin to settle Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic team are starting to wobble.

After Rangers’ 2-0 victory over Ross County in Dingwall, all eyes were on Celtic Park as the Parkhead side hosted St Johnstone in a 3pm kick off.

Following last weekend’s League Cup exit at the hands of Kilmarnock, there were already groans getting louder within the Celtic ranks and they were thoroughly let out at full-time against the Perthshire side.

Brendan Rodgers has Michael Beale breathing down his neck

Despite having the best part of 10 minutes of injury time, Celtic huffed and puffed but couldn’t blow the St Johnstone door down with Saints goalie Dimitar Mitov playing a blinder.

Drawing a blank in a 0-0 draw, it was a well-earned result for Steven McLean’s side but a nervous one for Celtic supporters and the returning Brendan Rodgers.

Whilst Ange Postecoglou’s aggressive Parkhead side drew huge compliments from Celtic Park, and five trophies, Rodgers’ set-up is now being booed with one cup already falling by the wayside.

The reality is that Celtic took a massive gamble – one worth around £9m over three seasons – in bringing Brendan Rodgers back to the Parkhead side this summer.

The club’s ultras voiced their discontent over the move, with Brendan Rodgers labelled every word under the Glasgow sun following an exit to Leicester City in 2019.

With the wounds of 10IAR’s collapse almost certainly still raw, there will be no leeway given to the “fraud” who apparently traded “immortality for mediocrity”.

And Rangers have a golden opportunity to shovel on yet more pressure.

Kilmarnock FC v Celtic FC - Viaplay Cup
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Rangers handed glorious Old Firm chance v Celtic

Across the city, Rangers are now showing shoots of recovery after an early-season blip away to Kilmarnock and Michael Beale’s side look to have major options in the starting XI and from the bench.

There is huge variety in Rangers’ attack and it’s that unpredictability and quality which has a scarred Ibrox support – whisper it quietly – feeling optimistic.

With an Old Firm clash between Rangers and Celtic now on the horizon next week – albeit with the small matter of a Champions League Playoff trip to PSV in between – the Ibrox side have an almighty opportunity.

Celtic have already rejected the 700 tickets offered them by Rangers ahead of the match meaning that a ferocious Ibrox full of expectant bluenoses lies in wait for Brendan Rodgers’ under pressure stars.

Rangers v PSV Eindhoven - UEFA Champions Qualifying Play-Off: First Leg
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

They say at the Old Firm one poor result is a disaster, two is a catastrophe and three is, well, three is unthinkable.

With the Celtic support disgruntled at this early stage of the season, and Brendan Rodgers’ Rangers batterings of yore still fresh in the Ibrox memory, the Gers drill has been fitted with a golden screw.

Rangers can go and oust the demons of Rodgers’ first spell in charge but more importantly, they can heap the pressure on the manager and lay down a huge title marker.

Should that momentum swing further towards Ibrox next weekend, a nervous Celtic team, manager and support may struggle to recover.

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