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Celtic could get revenge on Rangers guard of honour snub in Parkhead clash after title win

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Celtic welcome newly-crowned Scottish champions Rangers to Parkhead later this month and must decide whether or not to give their arch rivals a guard of honour pre-match.

A guard of honour is standard fare for teams who win the league before the end of the season and Hearts stood in two parallel lines to welcome Celtic on to the pitch last season after they were crowned champions for a ninth straight season.

But the Hoops have allowed their crown to slip this season and Rangers have grasped it in some style, going unbeaten across their 32 matches of the campaign thus far.

Rangers have won the league with six games to spare having collected 88 points so far, with 28 wins and four draw.

Steven Gerrard’s charges are also unbeaten in Europe and have managed a relentless consistency across the season, including 2-0 and 1-0 wins over Celtic in October and January.

That has helped them to clinch a 55th Scottish top-flight title and a first in a decade, denying Celtic the unprecedented feat of winning 10 in a row in the process.

READ MORE: Rangers ending Celtic streak proves Gerrard can replace Klopp

Celtic are still reeling and they must decide whether or not they congratulate Rangers on their achievement by clapping them on to the Parkhead pitch in the next derby on March 21.

The Gers did not do so for Celtic in their treble-treble season after their eighth successive title in the 2018-19 campaign.

Rangers boss Gerrard said: “To be honest with you my thoughts on it are not important on that subject.

“The club have made a decision on that and decided there won’t be a guard of honour, so my thoughts are irrelevant.

“I will follow what I’m told to do by the people in charge of the club.”

Celtic midfielder Callum McGregor reacted: “We know we deserve to be champions, that’s enough for us in there.

“We know how difficult it is to get over the line every season and we manage to do it. We don’t need anyone else to pat us on the back. We know it is a job well done.”

But then interim manager Neil Lennon, who quit Celtic last month, was less than impressed and said on the eve of their Old Firm derby: “It’s a break from tradition. I think we would have done it if the shoe had been on the other foot.

He told talkSPORT: “These are things that are left for clubs to make decisions. Listen, I don’t think it will make a difference to Rangers or Rangers players or the staff or the club one little bit.

“They have got over the line, they have got the title, that’s all that matters. How Celtic want to approach it that’s up to them.

“The fact that Rangers never done it, it’s a bit tit-for-tat if Celtic just return the favour. For me, if I was there I wouldn’t be bothered in the slightest.

“The 55th title is there and in the bag now and for me you we move on to 56.”

Celtic caretaker boss John Kennedy and Rangers manager Gerrard are sure to be asked plenty about it in the build-up to the match, and whichever option the Hoops take, either their fans or neutrals won’t be satisfied.



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