Steven Gerrard insists his Rangers players won’t be lulled into expecting a ‘weak’ Celtic when the teams meet on Sunday at Parkhead.
And he believes that the first head-to-head clash of the season remains the ‘acid test’ for an Ibrox side still being rebuilt from the wreckage of last year.
Aware of the personnel issues raised by Brendan Rodgers himself in recent weeks, Gerrard — who completed a loan deal for Joe Worrall and received a work permit for Eros Grezda on Friday — is wary of believing the hype.
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has prepared for the Celtic match as thoroughly as possible
‘I think we wait to see the team sheet come in,’ said the former England star.
‘If there is no (Moussa) Dembele, there’s no Dembele. But we’ll prepare for a good Celtic team.
‘It would be very naive of us to underestimate the challenge and the personnel they’ve got. ‘They’ve got good players in all different kinds of positions. It’s a huge game for them, just as it is for us, so we don’t expect a weak Celtic team or a Celtic team that’s going to lie down.
‘I think it’s a chance (for Rangers) to put a marker down. Having said that, if we go and win the game, I won’t be sitting here getting carried away thinking we’re the next champions. At the same time, if it doesn’t go well, I won’t think the world’s going to end.