Celtic v Rangers: Johan Mjallby expects former club to win treble

Celtic celebrate winning the Scottish Cup in 2001
Johan Mjallby (far left) helped Celtic win the treble in 2001
Scottish Cup semi-final: Celtic v Rangers
Date: Sunday, 23 April Kick-off: 12:00 BST Venue: Hampden Park
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland and online; highlights on Sportscene and BBC Sport website

Former player Johan Mjallby expects Celtic to overcome Rangers in Sunday's Scottish Cup semi-final and go on to win the treble.

Swede Mjallby was part of the last Celtic team to win all three domestic trophies in a single season in 2000-01.

Brendan Rodgers' side won the League Cup in November and secured the Premiership title earlier this month.

"They probably deserve it, but it is another two games where they have to be 110 per cent focused," said Mjallby.

"After the form they have shown this season and the players they have at their disposal and obviously a very good manager, I have to say they are big favourites to go all the way and win the treble.

"They have to do all the good things they have done during the season and not complicate things.

"You have to play the football and right now that is probably going to be enough to win the treble, but there is still a very tricky game at the weekend.

"There is a lot of similarities to when we won the treble, our team won [the league title] early and this team won it earlier than we did.

"I don't think Brendan will have to motivate the players because they know what's at stake. A treble is something that won't happen that often.

"So I think the players will be so focused, but on the day you might come up against an opponent who does all the right things and tactically are playing out of their skins."

Brown 'doesn't get the credit he deserves'

Mjallby, 46, was Celtic assistant manager during Neil Lennon's spell in charge from 2010-14.

Current Celtic captain Scott Brown was also skipper during that period and is expected to face Rangers, despite receiving a late red card for a tackle on Liam Boyce in Sunday's 2-2 draw with Ross County.

Kenny Miller and Scott Brown
Brown (right) is a veteran of Old Firm derbies, having been with Celtic since 2007

The club plan to appeal against the dismissal, which would have triggered a two-match suspension, and all Scottish FA disciplinary hearings for incidents over the Easter weekend will take place on 28 April.

"He has drive and passion and his leadership qualities are second to none," said Mjallby of Brown.

"He is a very important member of this team, not only being the captain, as a footballer he sometimes doesn't get the credit he deserves.

"He is an aggressive player and he used to probably be more hot-headed than he has been in the last couple of seasons.

"He over-reacted and that was the wrong thing to do, but I don't mind, I like it, it is something you need to have inside you."

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