FRANK McAVENNIE believes Philippe Clement could be a dead man walking if he doesn’t manage to get the upperhand on Brendan Rodgers.

The managers will go head to head for the third time at Parkhead on Saturday where a win for the hosts will almost certainly lead Celtic to their third successive title.

The Belgian became the sixth Ibrox boss to face Rodgers since 2016 when he took over from the sacked Michael Beale in November.

GOVAN GLEE…Brendan Rodgers can afford to smile as he shakes hands with Philippe Clement after the 3-3 draw at Ibrox.

Clement, who had won three titles in his homeland, had been out of work since being fired by AS Monaco in June last year – coincidentally around the time of the second comining of the Irishman as he returned to Parkhead to replace Spurs-bound Ange Postecoglou.

The new Govan gaffer sampled defeat in his first meeting with his opposite number when the champions won 2-1 in the east end of Glasgow on December 30.

Clement was heading for a second consecutive reverse until a stoppage-time goal rescued his side and gave them a 3-3 draw at Ibrox last month.

Astonishingly, he led the players around the pitch to accept the applause of relieved fans, a celebratory act CQN insisted was more than a shade bizarre, as we reported at the time.

Former Hoops striker McAvennie, goal hero of Celtic’s double-winning Centenary Year, said: “Him taking his players on a lap of honour after that draw was the first sign of him losing the plot.

“That was an afternoon where a win would have taken them two points clear with a game in hand, so I thought that was a strange response.

WHISPER IT…Philippe Clement looks on as Connor Goldson appears to want to share a secret with rival Greg Taylor following the 3-3 stalemate last month. 

“Pressure is a horrible thing to deal with and there seems to be something wrong with Rangers at the moment. Clement seemed nice and calm when he came in, but now he’s biting and snapping at everyone.”

Looking at Saturday’s crucial encounter, McAvennie, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “It’s a big game all right. Listen, Clement could still end up winning a treble if he wins on Saturday then beats Celtic in the Scottish Cup Final two weeks later.

“On the other hand, he hasn’t won against Celtic yet. If he were to lose those next two derbies it would be three defeats and a draw against them on his record.

“And if Clement gets off to a poor start next season – failing to get into the Champions League and losing the first Old Firm game – he could be gone.”

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