JOHAN MJALLBY believes Celtic will beat Sevco Rangers in Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final on their way to clinching a historic treble.
The former Hoops star and assistant boss expects Brendan Rodgers to become the third Parkhead manager to achieve the feat, following Jock Stein (1966.67 and 68/69) and Martin O’Neill (2000/01).
Tough guy Mjallby was part of the O’Neill line-up who enjoyed a silverware clean sweep 16 years ago.
Now Rodgers’ unbeaten outfit – 40 domestic games without a loss – are only two Cup-ties away from emulating that accomplishment after clinching the club’s sixth successive Premiership crown and the League Cup.
The Swede said: “They probably deserve it, but it is another two games where they have to be 110 per cent focused.
“After the form they have shown this season and the players they have at their disposal and obviously a very good manager, I have to say they are big favourites to go all the way and win the treble.
“They have to do all the good things they have done during the season and not complicate things.
“You have to play the football and right now that is probably going to be enough to win the treble, but there is still a very tricky game at the weekend.
“There are a lot of similarities to when we won the treble, our team won the league title early and this team won it earlier than we did.
“I don’t think Brendan will have to motivate the players because they know what’s at stake. A treble is something that won’t happen that often.
“So, I think the players will be so focused, but on the day you might come up against an opponent who does all the right things and tactically are playing out of their skins.”
Mjallby, 46, was Celtic assistant boss during Neil Lennon’s spell in charge from 2010/14. Current Parkhead skipper Scott Brown was also captain during that period and is expected to face the Ibrox outfit, despite receiving a late red card for a tackle on Liam Boyce in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Ross County.
The club plan to appeal the decision from blundering ref Don Robertson which would have triggered a two-match suspension. All SFA disciplinary hearings for incidents over the Easter weekend will take place next week.
Mjallby added: “Scott has drive and passion and his leadership qualities are second to none.
“He is a very important member of this team, not only being the captain, as a footballer he sometimes doesn’t get the credit he deserves.
“He is an aggressive player and he used to probably be more hot-headed than he has been in the last couple of seasons.
“He over-reacted and that was the wrong thing to do, but I don’t mind, I like it, it is something you need to have inside you.”