Celtic will unleash Leigh Griffiths against Rangers in Old Firm clash – Kevin Campbell
Celtic: Leigh Griffiths takes part in training with squad
Celtic will start Leigh Griffiths against Rangers in the Old Firm clash, former Arsenal star Kevin Campbell believes. The Scotland international has recently returned to form, scoring two goals in his last three appearances. And he’ll be looking to hurt Steven Gerrard’s side when they lock horns on Saturday afternoon.
Griffiths has been restricted to just eight Scottish Premiership appearances this term.
But he’s recently returned to form and will be hopeful of scoring against Rangers in the Old Firm clash.
And Campbell thinks the veteran will be thrown into the mix for the match at Ibrox, telling Football Insider: “Without a shadow of a doubt he starts in the Old Firm.
“He is a great goalscorer who has an eye for a pass as well.
“He is a player that has to be accounted for at all times. If you let him go, he will sneak in and get a goal.
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“It is a real big plus for Neil Lennon to have Leigh Griffiths back fit and firing, especially with a big game against Rangers this weekend.”
Celtic boss Neil Lennon recently hailed Griffiths as a ‘breath of fresh air’.
“Yes, he has been a breath of fresh air in the last few weeks.
“So it is about keeping him fit and keeping him at it.”
Noel Whelan has told the same publication he expects Rangers to win 2-1, with Gerrard’s side currently unbeaten in the top flight this term.
“As a Celtic fan it’s difficult for me to say but I can only see one outcome and I think that’s a Rangers win,” Whelan said.
“I hate saying this – you’ve got to put Rangers down as the favourites.
“The first goal is going to be massive in it, but I just can’t, I can’t see Celtic winning the game, I really can’t.
“I don’t think it’ll be a demoralising win, I think it’ll be close, competitive, well-fought Old Firm derby that you always get but I don’t think he’s going to be a 4-0 or anything like that.
“I think it probably will be, maybe, 2-1 to Rangers but I can just see them edging it, the way they’ve been playing this season and the balance that Steven Gerrard has got in that side now, defensively and going forward, they’re ticking all the boxes.
“I just think Rangers are in a zone and a mood that they’re just so destructive to other teams at the minute and they’ve got everything right – defence midfield and that attacking line is pretty formidable.”
Lennon looked likely to be sacked by Celtic at the start of December but, since then, has guided his side to six wins on the trot.
And he’s thanked ‘top managers’ inside the game for supporting him, saying: “It’s been tough, no question – there’s been a lot of hysteria, a lot of over-reaction.
“It’s almost like you have a few bad games and you should be out the door, the players are rubbish, that’s just modern football.
“You see it everywhere. Frank Lampard has a couple of losses and everyone is questioning him when he’s been absolutely superb.
“Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is always on the edge, Jose (Mourinho) has his ups and downs. I just think it’s the modern-day life of the manager. I got a lot of support from other managers, top managers in the game, and it galvanised me. You know your players, you know you can get more out of them and slowly but surely we’re doing that.”
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