Alexander says Celtic’s De Vries could prove doubters wrong on Thursday

Goalkeeper, Neil Alexander of Rangers in action during the Co-operative Insurance Cup final between Celtic and Rangers at Hampden Park on March 20, 2011 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Former Rangers goalkeeper Neil Alexander backs Celtic’s Dorus de Vries ahead of the Europa League tie on Thursday.

Dorus de Vries of Celtic during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow.

Celtic and Rangers are Old Firm rivals, but that has not stopped former Ibrox goalkeeper Neil Alexander from making some positive remarks about Dorus de Vries to The Scottish Sun.

Former Rangers goalkeeper Alexander, who was on the books of the Gers from 2008 until 2013, has suggested that De Vries will do a good job for Celtic against Zenit Saint Peterburg this week.

Brendan Rodgers’s side will take on Russian Premier League club Zenit at Celtic Park in the first leg of the Europa League round of 32 tie on Thursday evening.

With first-choice goalkeeper Craig Gordon out injured, former Wolverhampton Wanderers and Nottingham Forest custodian De Vries is set to start for Celtic.

Ahead of the match, former Rangers goalkeeper Alexander has backed De Vries to turn on the style against Zenit, and believes that this is his chance to show what he is capable of.

Dorus de Vries of Nottingham Forest clears the ball from Joel Lynch of Huddersfield Town during the Sky Bet Championship match between Huddersfield Town and Nottingham Forest at John...

Alexander told The Scottish Sun: “I am gutted for Craig to miss out on such a big night. But this could be a night for Dorus to show he can handle it at a big club like Celtic.

“He has had a shaky start to his career there but this a huge night and one he could prove his doubters wrong.

“This is his chance to show he can handle the expectation at Celtic by producing the goods.”

Goalkeeper, Neil Alexander of Rangers in action during the Co-operative Insurance Cup final between Celtic and Rangers at Hampden Park on March 20, 2011 in Glasgow, Scotland.

The making of Dorus de Vries?

Celtic manager Rodgers signed De Vries in 2016 to provide competition to Gordon, but the 37-year-old Dutchman is clearly the second choice when the Scotland international goalkeeper is fit.

However, there is no doubt that De Vries is a very good goalkeeper, having turned out for big clubs such as Swansea City, Wolves and Forest.

Winning or even drawing against Zenit on Thursday will not be easy, but Celtic fans should be confident about the Dutchman producing a strong display.

Atmosphere

Meanwhile, De Vries has spoken highly of the atmosphere at Celtic’s Celtic Park and Forest’s City Ground, and told The Scottish Sun: “The moment you step on to the pitch at Celtic Park, it’s class. It breathes football, it breathes history.

“It was like that down south at Nottingham Forest. They have a special history at their ground also, the same as Celtic Park.”

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