Celtic midfielder Marc Crosas says he is desperate to take part in what he believes is the biggest club match in the world. The former Barcelona player is finding some form again after a frustrating injury lay-off and wants to play his part in Sunday's Old Firm derby at Parkhead.
The 21-year-old has yet to feature against Rangers in the previous two encounters this season but he says the atmosphere at the games is even better than the Clasico contest between his former club and Real Madrid. "As a Barcelona supporter I always looked forward to Barcelona versus Real Madrid," Crosas said. "It's always a big game for the Spanish people, even if you're a fan of another team. But I think this match might be the best, in terms of atmosphere and ambience.
"For me, it's amazing and I think that all the emotions you experience in one game like this, even as a spectator, are unbelievable. I didn't play in the two derbies this season. But now I think I am ready to play. I feel that I am playing well and I'm ready to help the team."
At Ibrox the Scottish Premier League's top scorer is urging manager Walter Smith to unleash him against Celtic. Kris Boyd has scored 23 goals in 26 games this season but has only netted once against Celtic in his career. And while he acknowledged his scoring record at Celtic Park has not been good over the years, the striker wants to put that right with a goal on Sunday. "It's true that I have not had much joy at Parkhead over the years," Boyd admitted. "In fact, the only time I have scored there was when I got a couple against Faroe Islands with Scotland.
"There is no doubt I want to be involved in the game this weekend. But it's up to the manager - he's the one who will decide that. I started the match at Ibrox in December, which gave me a taste of it again but I will be keeping my fingers crossed I can be involved on Sunday and help the team."
A win in that game saw Celtic go seven points clear of their fierce rivals at the top of the SPL but since then Rangers have cut the gap to just two points. And Boyd knows the psychological edge a win at Parkhead could give his side. "If we can go above them this weekend, that would be massive, but we know how difficult that will be," Boyd added.
On Saturday, third-placed Dundee United host Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Tannadice. Terry Butcher's side, four points adrift at the bottom, will be looking for the win to close the gap on Falkirk. Hearts and Aberdeen go head-to-head at Tynecastle. A win for the Dons would see them leapfrog their hosts into fourth spot.
Hibernian travel to Rugby Park to take on Kilmarnock. Killie haven't won in five league games and Hibs will be fresh due to their lack of Scottish Cup action last weekend. Motherwell host Hamilton at Fir Park. Hamilton are undefeated in 2009 with four league wins but a win for the Steelmen could see them break into the top six. Falkirk make their visit to the new St Mirren Park. The Buddies are looking for their first win at their new home while Falkirk need the points to get out of the relegation zone.