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Sir Kenny Dalglish: I believe in Rangers but it may have to go to penalties

© SNS GroupBraga celebrate their goal last Thursday night as Rangers’ Scott Arfield suffers.
Braga celebrate their goal last Thursday night as Rangers’ Scott Arfield suffers.

Right now it would be fair to say that the Scottish Cup presents Rangers with their best chance of winning silverware this season.

In terms of winning the League, the defeat last Sunday to Celtic leaves them with a bit too much work to do in their bid to retain the title.

Ange Postecoglou and his players are firmly in the driving seat. They deserve a lot of credit for their 2-1 win at Ibrox.

Rangers went from there to Portugal to play Braga in the last-eight of the Europa League.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men lost 1-0 and they will be disappointed with that scoreline. However, it still gives them an excellent chance of progressing.

The second leg is at Ibrox this midweek and there will be 50,000 Gers fans inside the stadium.

They can help to make an intimidating atmosphere for the Portuguese side and there is no way you can rule Rangers out.

They most certainly have it in them to win this tie and progress to the semi-finals.

I believe they will do it. But it might need them to go all the way to a penalty shoot-out to see off Carlos Carvalhal’s men.

From there they move on to Hampden Park on Sunday. What a game that is going to be.

I’m really looking forward to it and part of the reason for that is the fact the stadium will be split down the middle with fans.

There will be around 25,00 from each side and that will make for an incredible atmosphere.

I’m not in favour of the current set-up between the clubs for League games where only 700 or 800 away fans get in.

I think that has diluted the spectacle of this great fixture. I hope this can be resolved sooner rather than later and get back to the way it used to be.

On the park, Celtic will start as favourites. There will be talk of them winning a treble and it’s only natural for that to be on the agenda.

Celtic swept the boards in four consecutive seasons between 2017 and 2020. It was an incredible achievement.

Brendan Rodgers and Neil Lennon were the managers at that time and now big Ange is very close to doing it.

Considering where Celtic were when he took over last summer. If he sweeps the boards domestically it would go down as one of the greatest successes.

But there is a long way to go. Ange won’t be thinking about trebles right now. It will be one game at a time.

Giovanni will be the same.

He won the Scottish Cup as a player with Rangers and will want it as a manager. He will not want to be in charge if Celtic win a treble.

So, the onus is very much on the Rangers players to go and do the business.

James Tavernier will be hammering that home to the dressing room in Paisley today.

Defeat can’t be on their agenda and they must keep fighting in the SPFL Premiership.

Winning today and going through on Thursday will see them full of confidence going into next weekend.

Their record in domestic cup competitions in recent seasons hasn’t been good enough. This is the perfect time to rectify that.

But they face a powerful Celtic, full of quality and with great options for the starting line-up and on the bench.

Callum McGregor will also be urging his team-mates to go for glory.

He took over from Scott Brown and has been a great skipper. A treble would be the icing on the cake for him.

He played very well at Ibrox last weekend and was the trigger point for his team to recover after they conceded a goal inside the first five minutes.

Callum and the players enjoy playing at the National Stadium. I think the last time they lost at Hampden was to Rangers in 2016 in the Scottish Cup semi-final, funnily enough.

They’ve enjoyed many glorious occasions since then and they will be looking to make it another one next Sunday.

But Rangers also have so much to play for and that’s what makes the next week or two so intriguing and something we are all so excited about.