Speaking to the Scotsman, former Rangers captain Barry Ferguson has advised Celtic’s John Guidetti to let his performance rather than his mouth do the talking ahead of Sunday’s Old Firm encounter.
Guidetti, 22, revealed earlier this month that he fancies scoring a hat-trick when the two Glasgow rivals meet for the first time since April 2012 in the League Cup semi-final at Hampden Park, but Ferguson has warned that the Swedish striker is setting himself up for a fall.
“You do your talking on the pitch, not off the pitch. That’s the way I like it done,” said Ferguson. “Be respectful and if you’ve got things you want to do on the pitch, do them. Don’t speak out because you can end up with custard pie on your face.”
Guidetti’s comments might have carried more weight earlier in the season when the Manchester City loanee was on a run of 11 goals in 12 games, but the past two months have seen him fail to find the back of the net.
With Rangers enduring turmoil on and off the pitch this season, the Scottish Championship side might seem like the ideal opposition to face in the midst of a barren spell, but Ferguson stresses that the formbook is thrown out the window when it comes to these fixtures.
“Old Firm games are about who wants it most on the day,” he added. “It doesn’t matter if Celtic are top of the league and playing well while Rangers are going through a sticky patch. There were times going into Rangers-Celtic games where we were having a hellish time and we won the game.
“The atmosphere surrounding it and the week building up to the game are different. A lot of people are thinking it’s going to be an easy ride for Celtic but I don’t think so. It’s about who wants it most at the end of the day and that’s what will happen on Sunday.”
Having arrived from Stromsgodset in June, Celtic boss Ronny Deila is also set to get his first taste of the Old Firm atmosphere alongside Guidetti, and has admitted that the match will be one of the biggest of his career.
"I've played in big games and finals before but this is going to be a very big one," he told BBC Scotland. "You can feel the atmosphere in the city. Right now it feels like the most important thing in the world.
"We have big respect for the team we are going to meet. It's going to be a tough game. If you go through the Rangers players individually, they would be among the three or four best teams in the top division.”