ANGE POSTECOGLOU’S Celtic champions will NOT receive a guard of honour at Ibrox tomorrow afternoon.

The anticipated news was confirmed by Govan gaffer Michael Beale as he attempts to overcome the Parkhead men at the fifth attempt this year.

The Englishman saw his side draw 2-2 at home on January 2, but has lost three in succession – 2-1 in the League Cup Final in February and 3-2 in the Premiership and 1-0 in the Scottish Cup semi-final last month.

SMILE, YOU’RE ON CAMERA…Ange Postecoglou and Michael Beale embrace at the end of Celtic’s 2-1 League Cup Final victory at Hampden in February.

Beale acknowledged the Hoops are “clearly the best team” in the country, but there will be no recognition when the title kings run onto the pitch in front of a hostile crowd of 50,000 with away supporters locked out.

He told the Daily Record: “In the past, it’s been turned down and that has to be done. I don’t think they would want us to and in the stadium in front of our fans, I don’t think it would be the right thing to do, either.

“We have a lot of respect for them, they’ve clearly been the best team in the league, but it’s been dealt with in the past and that takes it out of my hands, thankfully.”

Beale is the third Ibrox manager to pit his wits against Postecoglou since the Greek-Australian arrived on these shores in June 2021.

REO GRAND…Celtic’s Japanese new Bhoys Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda celebrate after the midfielder’s double in the 3-0 derby win in February last year.

Steven Gerrard won his solitary encounter against Neil Lennon’s long-term successor when he made his debut in the fixture. A header from Filip Helander was the difference between the teams in August, but the Hoops turned it around in February 2022 after Giovanni van Bronckhorst had replaced Aston Villa-bound Gerrard.

A double from new Bhoy Reo Hatate and another from Liel Abada gave the home team a 3-0 win and they followed up with a 2-1 victory – Tom Rogic and Cameron Carter-Vickers on target – in Govan in April.

An unfortunate own goal from Carl Starfelt sent the Bhoys spinning out of the Scottish Cup semi-final later that month, losing 2-1 after Greg Taylor had given Postecoglou’s outfit the lead which was nullified by Scott Arfield.

THE EQUALISER…Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates with the ball after his late goal at Ibrox in January earned Celtic a point in the 2-2 draw.

Celtic opened this campaign with a 4-0 home romp with Abada (2), Filipe Jota and David Turnbull claiming the goals. That was followed by the 2-2 draw at Ibrox two days into the new year after Ryan Kent and James Tavernier (pen) had given the home side the lead following Daizen Maeda’s early opener. Kyogo Furuhashi hit a late leveller.

The Hoops then went on a three-game winning sequence in the League Cup showdown with Kyogo netting two in a 2-1 triumph. The Japanese striker hit another double and Jota added a third in the 3-2 league success in the east end of Glasgow and the Portuguese ace headed in the only goal of the Scottish Cup last-four encounter at the end of last month.

Now the champions want to pile on the misery for the sixth and final time this season – with or without a guard of honour.

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