Celtic out to pressurise Rangers

Celtic take on Dundee United tomorrow with the chance to regain top spot in the Scottish Premier League, just three days after their Old Firm defeat knocked them off their perch. The Bhoys welcome Craig Levein's team to Parkhead 24 hours before rivals Rangers run out against Hibernian at Easter Road.

Rangers are currently two points clear in the race for glory with three games remaining, after a Steven Davis goal claimed victory in the Glasgow derby on Saturday. However, Gordon Strachan's side could pile the pressure on the Gers by going top of the league again if they beat United.

Celtic face a tough task in the shape of the Terrors, whom they have failed to beat over 90 minutes so far this season. But Irish defender Darren O'Dea insists there will be no panicking in the Parkhead dressing room as they look to derail Rangers' title bid and pick up their fourth successive championship.

There is no need for desperation. If we play our normal game, that will be good enough to take us through it.
Celtic defender Darren O'Dea ahead of his team's game against Dundee United

"There are enough characters in the dressing room to be calm," O'Dea said. "We know we're a good team and we can win by playing football. There is no need for desperation. If we play our normal game, that will be good enough to take us through it.

"It's sickening to lose to any team. Obviously, it makes it more sickening when it happens against Rangers. We need to bounce back and be at our best on Tuesday. We have struggled against Dundee United but I think most teams have, because they are very strong. It's massive now."

Celtic manager Strachan faced criticism after he dropped O'Dea's international team-mate Aiden McGeady for the game against Rangers, and he could return to the starting line-up on Tuesday. Midfielder Scott Brown should also feature after completing a two-match suspension.

Rangers lesson
Meanwhile, Old Firm match-winner Davis has said Rangers must learn from last season, when a championship run-in collapse cost his team the title by winning against Hibs on Wednesday.

"We've put together a good run of results so far and we've managed to keep that run going. But it counts for nothing unless we see it through," the Northern Ireland international said.

"Hopefully, we can learn from last season and the disappointment of that and go on to win it. It's a big thing for us that we've managed to get it back in our own hands now. We've got ourselves a couple of points in front now and we have to follow it up on Wednesday with another good result and then take it on from there as well."

The Ibrox side have no new injury worries for the trip to Edinburgh, with a place in the squad for Barry Ferguson a possibility after his return to training.

Aberdeen take on Hearts on Tuesday with the Jambos facing a battle to hold on to third place after last week's derby defeat to Hibernian.

On Wednesday, bottom club Falkirk need a win against Hamilton Academical, with fellow relegation battlers Kilmarnock and St Mirren meeting at Rugby Park. Elsewhere, Motherwell take on Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Fir Park.

Scottish Premier League, midweek fixtures
Celtic-Dundee United

Hamilton Academical-Falkirk
Kilmarnock-St Mirren
Motherwell-Inverness Caledonian Thistle