Pat Bonner urges Brendan Rodgers to start Celtic mainstay against Rangers

Craig Gordon of Celtic lifts the trophy after winning the Betfred League Cup during the Betfred League Cup Final between Celtic and Motherwell at Hampden Park on November 26, 2017 in...

Celtic face Rangers at Hampden Park on Sunday afternoon in the Scottish Cup.

Craig Gordon of Celtic arrives at the stadium prior to the Scottish Premier League match between Celtic and Ranger at Celtic Park on December 30, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Craig Gordon has returned from a long-term knee injury and Hoops legend Pat Bonner has told the Scottish Herald that Gordon should be Brendan Rodgers' first-choice when it comes to picking his side for Sunday's showdown with Rangers.

The 35-year-old missed seven Scottish Premiership outings with the injury after being forced off the field of play in the Hoops' 1-0 win over Hibernian back in January.

Gordon made his 200th Celtic appearance and kept his 100th clean sheet in the 4-0 win over Dundee, but was then dropped from the whole squad completely in which Scott Bain returned to the starting eleven to beat Hamilton 2-1.

24 Jun 1994:  Ireland goalkeeper Pat Bonner directs his team mates during the World Cup match against Mexico at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida, USA. Mexico won the match 2-1.  \...

Who starts in goal on Sunday afternoon at Hampden Park is anybody's guess, but Bonner believes 52-time Scotland international Gordon should be given the nod.

“Craig, no question,” Bonner said, when asked who should start in goal on Sunday. "He’s fit, he’s raring to go and he produced some excellent saves in the Dundee game.

“I watched him in the warm down, a little training session after the previous game and Craig went through a routine there that told me he was ready.

“He’s the best goalkeeper of the three, I’ve no doubt. He’s got experience, produces big saves when it matters and is good enough on the ball. He’s got that experience about him so for me he goes straight into the team."

Brendan Rodgers manager of Celtic celebrates victory after the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on March 11, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

The former Sunderland and Hearts goalkeeper, who stands at a lofty 6ft 3in, has been in sensational form between the sticks once again this season, keeping a huge 23 clean sheets in 41 outings - conceding only 40 goals in that time.

Celtic will take a mammoth leap towards a second successive treble by beating Rangers in the semi-final, with Motherwell and Aberdeen doing battle on Saturday.

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