Celtic v Rangers: James Forrest keen to avoid Dubai blues after Old Firm derby

Rangers' Ryan Jack scores against Celtic in December 2019
Rangers' Ryan Jack scored the only goal against Celtic last December
Scottish Premiership: Celtic v Rangers
Venue: Celtic Park, Glasgow Date: Sunday, 29 December Time: 12:30 GMT
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland and follow live text commentary on the BBC Sport Scotland website and app

Winger James Forrest wants to avoid a repeat of last December, when Celtic spent the Premiership's winter break mulling over an Old Firm derby defeat.

Rangers' 1-0 win brought them level on points with their city rivals at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

They meet again on Sunday, with Celtic having a five-point lead this time.

"Last year, we went into the break getting beaten at Ibrox, so that meant you had a couple of weeks thinking about it in Dubai," Forrest said.

"So I think everyone will want to make sure we get it right on Sunday."

That defeat under Brendan Rodgers was still not enough to prevent the side that were soon to be handed over to Neil Lennon securing a third clean sweep of domestic trophies.

While Rangers would move to within two points of the leaders with a game in hand should they end Celtic's long unbeaten domestic home run, a defeat would give Forrest's side a significant advantage.

"We are just focusing on the game on Sunday," he insisted. "The league is tight just now and it's going to be a hard game - we're not thinking that far ahead."

Celtic have won both Old Firm encounters this season - 2-0 in the league at Ibrox and 1-0 in this month's League Cup final - and Forrest said winning at Hampden despite Rangers dominating the game gave his side extra confidence.

"After the game, everyone was obviously buzzing and felt really good about themselves," he said. "When you play well and win, it's obviously good, but sometimes you have an off day and to still win shows you have the mentality to win in different ways.

"It's good we've got that side to our game, but I don't think that will mean much on Sunday. It's the league and it's a different game and we're at home."

Much has been written about Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos' failure to find the net against Celtic in 11 Old Firm games despite the Colombian and Edouard topping the Premiership scoring list with 12 apiece this season.

"I wouldn't just pick out him," Forrest stressed. "They've got players in different positions who have been doing well.

"I think the last three or four times we've played Rangers, the games have always been close. Every time we play them, home, away or at Hampden, it's tight games and we will need to be at our best if we are going to get the three points."

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