CHRIS SUTTON has urged Celtic to beware “a dangerous mindset” as they prepare for the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden on Sunday.

The Hoops have already beaten Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side in successive Premiership games to open up a six-point lead at the top of the table with five matches still to play.

Ange Postecoglou beamed on the touchline on February 3 as his team swept the Govan club aside with an exhilarating brand of play that saw them three goals to the good by the time referee Bobby Madden blew for half-time to give the under-the-cosh visitors some respite in a one-sided encounter in the east end of Glasgow.

Reo Hatate had a dream Glasgow derby with two superb strikes and Liel Abada touched in a left-wing cross from the Japanese international midfielder for the third just before the interval.

NICE’N’EASY DOES IT…Tom Rogic strokes in the equaliser at Ibrox earlier this month.

And the Parkhead men could afford to allow their opponents to take a third-minute lead through Aaron Ramsey 12 days ago before coming back to seal a deserved back-to-back triumph with first-half efforts from Tom Rogic and Cameron Carter-Vickers.

But Sutton warns of Postecoglou’s players just believing they have to go through the motions to book a place in the Scottish Cup Final at the national stadium on May 21.

And the one-time England international striker insists the championship race is NOT over.

Emphasising the desire Celtic must show in the fourth derby encounter of the campaign, Sutton said: “They will need that hunger on Sunday because I don’t buy the suggestion my old club only need to turn up.

“That’s a dangerous mindset and I’d be willing to bet it’s not part of Postecoglou’s thinking.

SPOT ON…Moussa Dembele dinks in a penalty-kick as Celtic thump the Ibrox side 4-0 in 2018 Scottish Cup semi-final in a one-sided rout at Hampden.

“This is not 2018, when the sides last met in a Scottish Cup semi-final. Back then, Brendan Rodgers’s side were thinking about how many it would be against a ramshackle Rangers outfit under Graeme Murty.

“It turned out that way, too, as Celtic took the foot off the gas at four, with the likes of Moussa Dembele showboating with a Panenka and so on.

“This is different. Rangers are different. They might have lost the last couple of derbies, but they are still a more than decent side with players of top ability to hurt teams.

“Just look at their European run. They might have stumbled domestically this term, but they are not some kind of hopeless rabble.

“Celtic are flying right now and have the upper hand, but we are back to what it was like in my playing days in Glasgow where there is not an awful lot between the sides and anything can happen on any given day.

“A mistake here, a howler there, a referee blunder, a stupid red card. There are so many factors at play and there is real jeopardy for both sides in this fixtures.”

ROARING SUCCESS…Giorgos Giakoumakis has scored 12 goals since the turn of the year.

Sutton, speaking to the Daily Record, continued: “There are selection issues for both managers.

“Postecoglou might have a decision to make up front, with Giorgos Giakoumakis looking like he’ll miss out.

“The Greek will be a big loss as he’s been a massive player since coming back from the winter break.

“Does he go with Daizen Maeda through the middle or hand Kyogo Furuhashi a dramatic first start since the turn of the year?

“I can’t provide the answer as I’ve not seen Kyogo in training. For all we know he’s been flying behind the scenes and is ready to go straight back in.

“You would have to think he’ll need a bit of time to get his sharpness up, though.

“And at least there wouldn’t be any concerns over Maeda getting the nod. It’s amazing to think he had his critics just a few weeks ago. However, now he has turned in to a cult hero among most of the Celtic supporters.

“I can see why. His work-rate is phenomenal and the ability to make sprint after sprint in behind the Rangers backline played a huge part in their crucial Ibrox victory.

CELEBRATIONS…Daizen Maeda goes through his routine after scoring against Motherwell.

“Maeda is a different kind of player to Kyogo, but you can see what he brings to the team and the Rangers central defensive
partnership won’t fancy having him breathing down their necks for 90 minutes.

“Elsewhere you’d think Tom Rogic will be given the chance to torment Rangers further and the only other question would be if Liel Abada comes back in from the start after being given a bit of a break.

“No matter what, Celtic have the attacking options to trouble Rangers again.”

Sutton added: “Celtic fans will probably believe it’s just Rangers who will be desperate to get through. To them, it’s the last chance saloon for the Ibrox club to get their hands on a domestic trophy with the Premiership already en route to Parkhead.

“I don’t see it that way. I don’t think the league is done and dusted yet for a start.

“There could yet be some more twists and turns to come.

“Celtic fans would sacrifice the Scottish Cup for the league trophy and all the rewards that it brings.

“I still believe it’s a big ask to beat Rangers another two times to make it four in a row.

“But if I were in that Celtic dressing room I would be just as desperate as Rangers to lift the Cup – along with the Premiership.

ON THE CREST OF A WAVE…Ange Postecoglou acknowledges the Celtic support.

“Ange Postecoglou’s side are close to doing something really special. I know Celtic have picked up trebles for fun in recent years, but if you look historically, these things don’t actually come around too often.

“When we did it under Martin O’Neill, it was the first for more than 30 years.

“What an opportunity they have this year to do it – especially when the notion sounded absolutely preposterous at the start of the campaign.

“I get the fact the pressure is on Rangers. Of course, it’s on them.

“The prospect of ending the year without any silverware would have been completely unthinkable last August.

“You only have to look at their woeful Cup record in the last decade as well to see they need to get their hands on a trophy.

“Celtic have already stuck the Premier Sports League Cup in the cabinet, but they need to be greedy for even more.”

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