For the first time in a long time, Rangers will take a look at the league table ahead of next weekend’s league meeting at Ibrox and feel that potentially they have something to play for.

Going into the game with just 6 points between the sides would offer the suggestion in the minds of the Ibrox club that they really could put a bit of pressure on Celtic in an attempt to create a genuine title race.

I don’t think these games ever really need to have an additional boost in order to give them a bigger status but there is no doubt that having little between the sides, albeit that Celtic would still have a game in hand, would definitely add a little bit of spice to the mix.

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There have been various soundbites coming from the Rangers camp about doing this and doing that and certainly they are going into the game on a decent run of form.

The reason for that is that they brought in better players and it will be interesting to see if they are up to the challenge.

That is the question for the Ibrox side.

I have to say that for any Celtic team, it is always a test to go and play at Ibrox.

You are assured of a particular kind of welcome and you know that they will always look to make life as difficult as possible but the one thing that you can say is that domestically this is a Celtic side who have been able to cope with every kind of pressure on the home front.

You can talk about the ifs and buts of it, and from Rangers’ point of view, cutting the gap to three points would make Celtic catchable from their point of view.

I have to say I can’t see it myself.

With players ready to come back into the team who have been sidelined for some time and the full focus of the club now lying on the remaining ten league games, you would expect that Celtic can kick it up a gear.

I actually thought that they produced the perfect response at Pittodrie last Sunday on the back of what was a disappointing performance in Russia and you would have to say that about this current Celtic side – they do have an ability to bounce back.

What I would also say is that I think Moussa Dembele is slowly showing the form that made him stand out so much last term.

I know that people will point to that first goal at Pittodrie and say that it was just an easy header from a yard out but the thing for me was that there was no way anyone else was getting to that ball.

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He was determined that he was getting on the end of it and then I thought he held the ball up beautifully in the build-up to Kieran Tierney’s goal.

I have said it before but the hamstring injuries really hindered him and I think that the lack of match fitness meant that it took him a while to get going. I still think that he isn’t yet at optimum match sharpness but it is the closest he has been to it for a while.

He is shaping up to hit the same heights as last season and although I don’t know the lad personally, he strikes me as a determined character.

No-one is under any illusions that he came to Celtic because ultimately he wants to get himself a move to a top club down south but he knows himself that the onus is then in him to produce.

He is a big game player as we have seen so often in his short time at the club and I just wonder how much he will relish the game at Ibrox.

These are the kind of high profile big occasions that seem to bring the best out in him. If there is a little bit of pressure on with the gap being relatively tight then all the better from him, I think.

He is playing with a level of confidence after all the hullaballo that surrounded his situation in January.

It will still seem like an outside shot for him but you just never know about making it on that plane to Russia with the French squad.

Obviously there is a formidable level of competition in front of him but if he can finish the season strongly then you just never know – and that is exactly what he must be thinking.

The final part of the season can give him a pretty significant platform to go and play on and for any player making it to a World Cup really is the pinnacle of your career.

That incentive can only serve Celtic well as the club look to finish this campaign with the same ruthless streak they exhibited throughout the last campaign.