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Kenny Dalglish pinpoints Celtic and Rangers issue – could impact Premiership title race | Football | Sport

Celtic hero Kenny Dalglish was warned both his former side and their Old Firm rivals Rangers of an unwanted side effect from playing in Europe, but urged them not to use it as an excuse.

The Hoops drew 1-1 against Rennes in France while Rangers edged past Feyenoord 1-0 at Ibrox on Thursday night.

Celtic take on Kilmarnock on Sunday while the Light Blues travel to St Johnstone, but Dalglish is not expecting plain sailing.

He wrote in the Sunday Post: “Between now and Christmas, I will be interested to see how both teams cope with the Thursday-Sunday fixtures.

“It could throw up quite a few twists and turns.

“This is the first weekend they’ll be playing off the back of the Europa League section.

“It can sometimes be a strain, both mentally and physically.

“If a result doesn’t go to plan in the domestic game immediately following the Thursday night European fixture, there seems to be an acceptance that it’s difficult to play three days after a Europa League tie.

“Personally, I just don’t get it. I think it’s all psychological. They should all be ready to play on the Sunday, and there should be no excuses.”

Before this Sunday’s fixtures, Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has groaned about their early kick-off time of 12:15.

He said: “We are not complaining, it is the way it is.

“But certainly for us and Celtic, you would like to think that our own league would help us in terms of kick-off times.

“But they go the other way and make them earlier and they give you morning kick-offs.

“I probably haven’t been up here long enough to maybe bring that up.

“But it is not good is it, when you are kicking off at eight o’clock on a Thursday night and your players.

“The adrenaline and you can’t get a sleep until three or four o’clock in the morning and then our league, who are supposed to be our governing body who help us, go and agree a kick-off time at 12:15 on Sunday.”

Celtic have a slightly later kick-off and will get underway at 13:00 at Parkhead, as they look to extend their seven game unbeaten run.

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