With six wins, one draw and an aggregate score of 18-4 there is good reason why Brendan Rodgers’ side unnerve Rangers.

The Ibrox side travel across the city this afternoon more in hope than expectation and Rodgers himself has acknowledged that repeated defeats – and heavy ones at that – will have left their mark on Rangers.

Graeme Murty led the only decent performance in the eight meetings between the sides since Rodgers’ arrival but, as the Hoops boss acknowledged, Celtic’s sequence of results against Rangers is sufficient to cause some anxiety as the curtain comes down on 2017.

Read more: Celtic keeper Craig Gordon insists Hoops will beat Rangers if they play to their full capability

“If you’ve played a team seven times, lost six and got away with a draw in the other one then…you can probably never admit it but there’s no doubt that, subconsciously, there will be an eerie feeling,” said Rodgers.

“It’s difficult but every game gives you an opportunity.

“We never feel, just because we’ve played well and won most of our games against them, that we can take anything for granted. We have to be really hungry for success every time we play and that’s what we’ll be aiming for tomorrow.”

Celtic have the chance to head into the mid-season winter break on the back of a 14-point lead if, as expected, they take all three points this afternoon.

That in itself would essentially spell the end of any pretence of a title race, although Rodgers was wary of saying so publicly.

“I wouldn’t think as far as that yet,” said Rodgers. “For me it is just about getting the three points and playing well. We want to show we still have that hunger to finish off the season and listen, of course, if it does go to 14 points if we took all three points it is a big lead but I wouldn’t think so much about it at this point in time.

“just think about the forthcoming game. But Celtic have played well in the majority of our meetings with them – even in the 1-1 draw at Parkhead last season, we should have won it, even though we didn’t play so well.

“You have to give credit to the mentality of our players, though, because they’ve played with no fear in these matches – whether it’s been at home or away or at Hampden – and I think that’s important.

“Because of that lack of fear, we’ve been able to go out and play very well.”

Rangers manager Murty and Rodgers bumped into one another in the school playground recently as they deposited their respective children at the gate.

Read more: Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers reveals no boardroom chat yet over Virgil Van Dijk cash bonus​

Pleasantries were exchanged and Rodgers believes the Ibrox boss deserves the breathing space of knowing he is in the post until the end of the season at least.

“That won’t allow him to relax, exactly, but at least he’ll be able to plan a little better on a day-to-day basis,” said the Hoops boss.

“When I hear bits and pieces from the Rangers players, they appreciate how difficult his job is. There’s clearly a respect there for him and he’ll now want to go and impose himself on the job between now and the end of the season.

“It would have been very challenging. The expectations of Celtic or Rangers are huge and you have to live with those pressures. At the point in time when you step in from the second time it is not easy, that’s for sure.

“But rather than see it as a threat, you have to see it as an opportunity and I am sure Graeme will see it as that. You don’t get too many opportunities to come in and in your first manager’s job go into that level and that size of club so I am sure he will grab it with both hands.

“It was nice to see him[at school]. It was a wee while back when he was still in that interim role. I obviously don’t get to see him much at all but it is nice to see him. I go back to the times when me and a few of the staff here worked with him at Reading when he was a player there and I was the youth coach. I didn’t have too many dealings with him but he was always a good fella and like you say, it is a great chance for him, a great opportunity and it is nice when we get the chance to speak.

Read more: Celtic keeper Craig Gordon insists Hoops will beat Rangers if they play to their full capability

“They play more direct than they did under Mark and Pedro, who worked in a slightly different way. Graeme’s gone back to basics a bit more, to give some comfort to the players.

“The previous two managers wanted to build the game but maybe now that he’s got the job and he has more time, that’s maybe something he’ll want to look at.”

While the expectation is that Celtic will come through the game without barely breaking sweat, Rodgers is wary of underestimating the Ibrox side.

“I think I have grown up knowing the game and it doesn’t matter where both clubs are at that they are always tight games and difficult fixtures,” he said. “Thankfully we have won six of the seven and played well in them and that is all you can worry about. You can only worry about preparing your team to play without fear.

“It was not so long ago that Rangers really dominated Celtic in a semi-final and got through to a Scottish Cup final. That is not that long ago. In terms of the transformation of the players in dealing with the pressures of the game and then playing at the level we have, it is really impressive from that perspective.”