Kieran Tierney is desperate for Celtic to continue their unbeaten run against Rangers this season when the Glasgow rivals meet on Sunday. 

The latest clash could have a huge bearing on which side of the city the Scottish Premiership crown goes to come May, with Celtic only a point ahead in the league standing - having played a game more. 

Tierney, 26, was a key star in the Celtic team that dominated Scottish football between 2014 and 2019 before joining Arsenal for £25million.

Almost five years have passed since the Scotland international last donned green and white hoops, yet the defender, who is currently on loan at Real Sociedad, has still been cheering Brendan Rodgers’ men on from afar.

He reckons this weekend’s derby match will prove a tough encounter for his old team because they will be up against a packed Ibrox and have zero away fans in the ground. 

Despite that, he insists he has every faith they can do secure a memorable victory to help shift the title momentum.

“It promises to be an incredible match," said the Hoops hero. "I really hope for a Celtic win, but I know how difficult it is going to Ibrox. It will be even tougher without any fans.

“But they have done it before — and I’ve got every faith in them. Brendan’s a great manager who has a fantastic derby record. He knows what it takes to win at Ibrox.

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"I know how important John Kennedy is. He is an amazing coach. I’ve seen it first-hand. He helped me massively — and I know there are numerous other players at Celtic who will say the same. I don’t think the team could have two better people in charge. They will keep the players calm and focused."

In an interview with The Scottish Sun, he continued: "These derby games are crazy. The 2016 defeat was a huge moment. From that Brendan came in and in the years after that Celtic won a quadruple Treble.

“I remember his team-talk before the game against Rangers at Parkhead the next season. He said, ‘Just remember how you felt after the game at Hampden’. My favourite win over Rangers was the one that clinched the league.

"We won 5-0 at Parkhead. To win the title against our biggest rivals was amazing. I’m proud of my record against Rangers. The only thing I didn’t achieve was a goal.”

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Tierney believes McGregor’s return to fitness could be the difference in Celtic securing all three points as he credited the Hoops captain for remaining loyal to the club.

McGregor, 30, has been sidelined since February 28 but is expected to return for this blockbuster Ibrox meeting. And Tierney highlighted an example of when his leadership spurred Celtic onto victory. 

He recalled: “Callum’s an amazing player. There’s no doubt in my mind he will have had offers to leave — and 100 per cent he could have gone to England or abroad and been a big success.

“I’m sure there will also have been a time when James (Forrest) had options to move. He would have done well elsewhere, too.

“But they both chose to stay — and from a Celtic point of view, I’m delighted they did.

“They are the modern-day heroes for the club, especially for people like me when I was growing up.

“I keep in touch with both, maybe more so Cal. I was really close to him as I was coming up at the club. He broke through before me, and it was later on that season that I got my debut.

“If Callum’s available for Sunday then it will be massive for Celtic. He’s done it so many times in derby games. He’s a leader. He brings the team with him.

“There was a game at Ibrox two years ago when Cal just went on a run — the team was losing 1-0 — and from his determination Tom Rogic got the equaliser. It inspired everyone on the pitch and Celtic eventually won 2-1.

“In a moment, Cal decided to take things into his own hands and make a difference. He’s just a brilliant captain.”