John Kennedy hopes Celtic can take advantage of Rangers’ European exertions
John Kennedy wants Celtic to be ready to capitalise if Rangers’ European exertions are a factor in Sunday’s Old Firm game.
The Hoops have not played since their goalless draw against Dundee United at Tannadice on March 7 confirmed the Ibrox club’s 55th Scottish Premiership title win which also ended Celtic’s hopes of 10 in a row.
Since then, Steven Gerrard’s side have played two Europa League last-16 ties against Slavia Prague and they were knocked out of the tournament by the Czech Republic side with a 2-0 home defeat on Thursday night.
The Light Blues finished the game with nine men after Kemar Roofe and Leon Balogun were sent off.
Interim boss Kennedy, who has four points from six in his two games in charge since he stepped up as assistant last month after Neil Lennon resigned, will look to play on any signs of fatigue in the Ibrox side as they travel to Celtic Park for the third Glasgow derby of the season.
The former Celtic defender said: “The game (for Rangers) the other night, from a physical point of view, was very demanding.
“Slavia are a physical side so for us it will be trying to take advantage of that.
“We are in good shape. It has been a long time between the United game and now and we have done a lot of work in that time.
“We will be fresh going into the game with good energy, a good, fit squad so it is how we impact the game and how we impose our style on the game.
“Rangers are a good side and they have had a very good season. We know how they play, we obviously have played them a couple of times already.
“We know what to expect, we know how they set up, we know how they defend and how they like to attack, so it is making sure we are ready for that and it will be about using our intensity to have that impact.
“It can also be that it (defeat) spurs you on and from a Rangers point of view it is a derby match so the motivation will be there.
“But games in a short period of time can take its toll, we have been there ourselves.
“Whether it is an advantage or not, we have to go out with maximum energy, make sure we are fully prepared, organised and impose our style on the game, that is the most important thing.”