Rangers: Chris Sutton defends 'Celtic will win blindfold' remark

Chris Sutton and Rangers' Jorg Albertz
Chris Sutton is a veteran of Old Firm derbies for Celtic against Rangers
Scottish League Cup semi-final: Celtic v Rangers
Venue: Hampden Park Date: Sunday, 1 February Kick-off: 13:30 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One Scotland, BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Sport website

Chris Sutton is standing by his belief that Celtic could win Sunday's Scottish League Cup semi-final against Rangers while blindfolded.

Asked about comments criticised by Celtic's Stefan Johansen, the former Hoops striker said: "The score can be anything. Rangers are in disarray.

"When you strip it all back and look at the 11 players starting, Rangers will not get anywhere near Celtic.

"Celtic will dominate possession, they will dominate territory."

Midfielder Johansen said Sutton was "completely wrong" because cup competitions so often feature upsets while the traditional rivalry between the Glasgow clubs will ensure a close encounter.

"Stefan Johansen has to say that - he is a player," former Chelsea, Blackburn Rovers and Norwich City striker Sutton told BBC Sport.

"I would do exactly the same thing.

Celtic midfielder Stefan Johansen
Celtic's Norwegian midfielder, Stefan Johansen, criticised Chris Sutton's remarks

"But I was only telling the truth. Rangers are struggling in the league below Celtic.

"Hearts are going to win that league and Rangers will have to have a play-off to get up."

Sutton thinks the only possible problem for Celtic is that this season they have not been finishing the chances created.

Since the 41-year-old left Glasgow for Birmingham City then Aston Villa, Rangers have suffered severe financial problems and this will be the first derby between the sides for nearly three years after two lower-league titles.

While reigning champions Celtic top the Scottish Premiership and are preparing for a Europa League last-32 meeting with Inter Milan, Rangers are 13 points adrift of Championship leaders Hearts.

Emergency loans have been required to keep Rangers in business amid a battle for power in the Ibrox boardroom and they go into the semi-final under a caretaker manager, Kenny McDowall, who has already handed in his notice.

"This game is going to be the most one-sided derby beforehand, but in my era, you could never tell which way it was going to go," said Sutton.

"Rangers had a strong team and we were vying every year for titles and cups and it was extremely exciting. This will be exciting in a different way.

Rangers caretaker manager Kenny McDowall takes training
Sutton says Rangers caretaker manager Kenny McDowall is at a club in disarray

"Three years of excitement and the build up, it is going to explode on Sunday, but there's only going to be one winner and one winner comfortably."

Sutton, however, said the lack of Old Firm rivalry had been detrimental to Scotland's international standing.

"It has impacted the whole of Scottish football," he said. "Other clubs are struggling.

"Rangers take fans away in numbers and that affects clubs like Motherwell and Ross County. It affects their budgets. It has affected Celtic.

"People want competition and the whole of Scottish football has missed Rangers."

Asked to compare Old Firm games to other derbies he has been involved in, Sutton added: "It's the biggest and best.

"The atmosphere is incredible. There's a genuine dislike of each other.

"It is a game Scotland's missed and Britain has missed."

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