Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers has insisted that the pressure is all on Rangers ahead of Sunday’s game at Ibrox.

Celtic can move 9 points clear – with a game in hand – if they emerge from Ibrox with a win at the weekend. Rangers have the momentum going into the game but Rodgers believes it is the first time since his arrival at the Parkhead club that there is an expectancy on Rangers to deliver.

And the Celtic manager is keen to see how Graeme Murty’s side cope with that.

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“They’ve got a bit more spirit from what I see and they’ve probably found a consistency but they’ve played without pressure from most of my time up here so they’ll feel that little bit of pressure in the game because it is a game they have to win,” Rodgers told the Celtic View.

“We want to win it, of course, the same as every game we play, and especially against our rivals.”

Celtic’s lead at the top of the table is nowhere near as substantial as it was this time a year ago. This term hasn’t been so fluent in terms of the club’s domestic performances and Rodgers will use the benefit of a free week to address some of those issues before Sunday’s trip across the city.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do and we’ll need to perform better and more consistently in the game but we have gone there three times before and performed very well,” said Rodgers. “There is huge pressure on Rangers in the game but for us we will have a good working week and go into that game and work as well as we can.

“Having a full week’s preparation will make a massive difference.

“It will be a tough game for us at Ibrox but we will get ready. We’ll work on some elements of where we can hurt them and prepare really well for that and go there for confidence.”

Meanwhile, Scott Sinclair has insisted that he is capable of recapturing his form of last season at Ibrox.

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The Celtic winger, last season's Player of the Year, has struggled to maintain the same level but he believes the intensity of the derby cam bring out the best in him.

“My first time at Ibrox was really good,” Sinclair told the celticfc.net. “I set up Moussa for the first goal and then scored the winner in the second half to secure the three points, so it was a perfect way to close things off ahead of the winter break.

“You have to be able to thrive in all atmospheres, especially the ones where fans are trying to intimidate you.

"That’s the whole point of playing football. You’re not always going to be playing in front of fans who are all behind you.

“It’s such a big game and for players, when we play in these games, we give it our all and enjoy the occasion. The opposition fans are going to give you stick and try and put you off your game, but in these kinds of games I stay focused and go out there and do what I do.

“It’s a different feeling compared to having 60,000 Celtic fans behind you. They give you that lift to keep going and it’s an incredible feeling having that kind of support behind you.

“Obviously when you go away from home to somewhere like Ibrox it’s not like that. You have over 40,000 people against you and it’s one of those things you need to enjoy dealing with. It’s great for players to be involved in those games and come away with the three points.”