Scott McDonald thinks he knows how Rangers cup clash will affect Celtic title chances

Celtic Parkhead

The ex-Bhoys striker believes the Old Firm fixture is the perfect way to help his former side in their league run-in.

Former Celtic striker Scott McDonald has told the Scottish Sun that the Scottish Cup semi-final clash against arch-rivals Rangers is the perfect way for the Bhoys to kickstart their league campaign once again.

Ronny Deila's side will face their arch-rivals in mid-April after returning to winning ways with a 3-0 quarter-final victory over Morton this weekend.

Prior to that match, the Hoops had allowed nearest challengers Aberdeen to make up valuable ground in the Scottish Premiership title race by drawing their last two matches.

However, Motherwell striker McDonald, who scored 64 goals in 128 matches for Celtic in a two-and-a-half-year spell in Glasgow, believes that the thought of a fiesty Old Firm clash will serve as motivation rather than a distraction.

The Australian told the Scottish Sun: "It's probably the game Celtic were looking for, it gives them something to get their teeth into and gives them motivation and extra edge going into the title run-in.

"I really expect them to lift their game. All those players will want to play in the game so they will all want to be performing leading up to that. So I fully expect Celtic's form to increase over the coming week."

"There's a lot of football [Deila] will be more worried about leading up to that. They have to do their job in the league and try to keep Aberdeen at bay."

With a date with their rivals in the diary, Celtic must now turn their attentions back to addressing their mini-slump in the league.

A total of just two points from the last two matches has allowed Aberdeen to close the gap at the top to four points ahead of the Bhoys' trip to Partick Thistle.

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