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Scottish Cup

Mark Warburton admits this won't help Rangers against Celtic

The Gers boss says his side will not have any element of surprise against their Glasgow rivals in next month's Scottish Cup semi-final.

Rangers manager Mark Warburton has told the club's website that his side will not have any advantage from the element of surprise when they take on Celtic next month, but insists that they can give the Bhoys a run for their money.

The Old Firm rivals will meet in the Scottish Cup semi-final on 16 April in what could potentially turn out to be a season-defining clash for both clubs.

Though they have met in cup competitions since, the rivals have not faced each other in the league since Rangers' liquidation and relegation four years ago.

However, Warburton insists that just because Celtic won't have had a close eye on the blue side of Glasgow in recent times does not mean that his team will be an unknown quantity to their Premiership opponents.

He told the club's website: "I don’t think we are a surprise and let’s have a sense of reality for a moment, they have a high quality squad.

"We will go into that game, touch wood, in good form with lots of self-belief and we will play them very well – there is no doubt about that. But they are top of the Premier League and have had five years plus in European competition and have the budget and the players.

"We are appreciative of that, we respect that but in no way will we go into it with a negative approach. We know it will be a tough test and it’s another challenge for us but the players have responded all season to tough challenges."

Rangers look certain to return to the top flight of Scottish football next season having built up a seemingly-unassailable 12-point lead at the top of the Championship.

With Hibernian faltering, the Gers could have promotion all but assured by the time they come face to face with Celtic in five weeks' time.

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