Old Firm clash no indicator for Scottish Premiership, says Walter Smith

Rangers Gates

Celtic and Rangers meet this weekend in the latest Old Firm derby.

This weekend’s clash between Celtic and Rangers in the Scottish Cup will be no indication of how the Scottish Premiership will fare next season, Walter Smith has told BBC Sport.

The Scottish giants meet each other in the semi-finals of the cup on Sunday in the first Old Firm derby of this season.

Rangers are keen to get revenge on their fierce rivals, with Celtic having beaten them 2-0 in last season’s Scottish League cup semi-final.

The game will also likely be an indicator of how close, or far apart, the two sides are heading into next season, although Smith claims that is not the case.

“It will be interesting to see how Rangers players handle the challenge of playing against the best team in the country,” he told BBC Sport.

“I think that that’s the big thing for Rangers. The weekend’s game will stand on it’s own, I don’t think it will be a great indication of what will happen next season. 

“Both clubs, in all probability, will sign players in the close season so the teams could be different next season.”

After wrapping up their return to the Scottish Premiership last week, there is no denying that Rangers will likely use this game as one in which to assess the gap between themselves and Celtic.

Another disappointing result like last season’s may indicate to them that they have more building to do than they would have anticipated.

On the other hand, a win could tell them they are close to being able to challenge, with the idea of a title tilt next season having already been mooted by many.

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