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When it comes to logic, it may well be up there with suggesting that decapitation is a rich cure for a migraine.

But Celtic’s win over Rangers at the end of December could well come to be regarded as a result that did them no favours at all.

It offered a comfort blanket after a tumultuous month where the wheels had threatened to come off, a result that was regarded by the club’s support as normal service returning.

Defeat would have seen a busy car park with the banners and the protests and all the toxic aggro of the doomed ten-in-a-row season fully coming to the fore.

If Ange Postecoglou arrived to dissipate that tension with football and chat that had Celtic supporters eating out of his hand from day one, his exit seems to have cast a pall over the club with the bilious acrimony that was evident prior to his arrival finding an outlet again.

It would have to be said about this Celtic team that in the two meetings with Rangers they have emerged unscathed from both. When it matters they have had enough to provide.

The momentum, however, is far different when a lead has been eaten into as Celtic have squandered what looked like a position of comfort.

Since December, eight points have been shipped with Rangers consistent, if unspectacular. Philippe Clement has offered an organisation and structure to the Ibrox side with the end result that they look greater than the sum of their parts.

Can the same be said for Celtic? An argument could be made for Matt O’Riley but where are the other players who have improved this term?

Kyogo Furuhashi came up with the goods against Rangers – and traditionally this fixture is where the league is won and lost – but he has looked a shadow of what he has been in previous campaigns.

It would be remiss to write Celtic off at this juncture of the campaign when the league is so delicately poised but should anything go awry at Easter Road on Wednesday night the fall-out will be loud enough to echo all the way back to Celtic Park.

Rodgers has been subdued at times this season yet showed a different side last weekend when he bit back at supporters after his team were booed off against Ross County.

He will need every bit of leadership to unite a support whose fear about a £60m Champions League kitty disappearing from view underpins their current frustrations.
f against Ross Cvery bit of leadership to unite a support whose fe

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