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Old Firm: Rodgers warns Rangers that Celtic are peaking at perfect time

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Brendan Rodgers says Celtic are peaking at the perfect time as they prepare for a make-or-break Old Firm derby this weekend.

Rangers head to Parkhead on Saturday lunchtime trailing Rodgers’ men by three points at the summit of the Scottish Premiership and with an inferior goal difference.

A Celtic win would make it four straight for the Hoops and give them a six-point cushion over Philippe Clement’s out-of-form men with only two games remaining.

Rodgers told Celtic TV: “When I look at the injuries and disruptions we’ve had this season, last weekend was about there in terms of availability, fitness and where the team is at.

“It’s as good a place as we’ve been all season. When we arrive into this weekend’s game, this will be the best version of the team since I’ve been here.”

Skipper Callum McGregor looked back to his best after injury in the win over Hearts last weekend and shone in the last game between the sides at Celtic Park, while Japan international Daizen Maeda made the bench after a hamstring problem.

Referee Willie Collum will take charge of Saturday’s game, having been in the VAR role for the last derby at Celtic, which the home side won 2-1 in December.

Rangers claimed they should have been awarded a penalty for handball against Alistair Johnston and reports suggested Rangers requested Collum should not be in the middle for their games in future, a request which the Scottish FA “immediately rejected.”

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Alex Hoad

Alex has more than 15 years' experience in sports journalism and has reported on multiple Olympics, World Cups and European Championships in additional to Champions League, Europa League and domestic football.

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