CAMERON CARTER-VICKERS and Liam Scales will team up for the first time in the Glasgow derby at Ibrox on Sunday.

Injury has ruled out the USA World Cup Finals centre-back from the two previous encounters, the 1-0 away win on September 3 and the 2-1 triumph at Parkhead just before the turn of the year.

Scales, though, has played a heroic role in both victories after performing alongside Gustaf Lagerbielke in Govan and Stephen Welsh and Maik Nawrocki in the east end of the city where Kyogo Furuhashi claimed his second successive winner in the high-octane fixture.

The former Scotland Under-21 international captain was forced off with a shoulder problem early in the first-half with the £4.3million summer recruit taking his place.

WE’RE BEHIND YOU…Cameron Carter-Vickers has the backing of the Celtic support.

Scales has made the left-sided central defensive position his own after answering an SOS from Brendan Rodgers at the campaign’s kick-off following injuries to Carter-Vickers and new Bhoys Lagerbielke and Nawrocki. The position, previously held for two seasons by Carl Starfelt, was up for grabs and the Dubliner seized his opportunity.

Carter-Vickers applauded the progress of his team-mate and said: “Liam has done really well. He has played pretty much every game this season, which I’m sure if you asked him at the start of the season then he might not have believed to be true.

“He was always one of Aberdeen’s better players last season and when he came back from pre-season he was straight into the team and playing well. You can see he has taken that pressure on and has remained ever-present.

“As a centre-back partner, it doesn’t affect me if they are right or left-footed. It’s more about learning how your partner likes to defend certain situations. Once you learn that then you can adapt your game to form the best partnership you can.

“The more you play alongside someone the more you build that connection. Our game-time has been been interrupted with my injuries, but I’m hopeful we can continue to build that connection.”

WE’RE BEHIND YOU…Liam Scales has the backing of the Celtic support.

Carter-Vickers, who sealed a £6million switch from Spurs in the summer of 2022 following a convincing one-year loan, is gearing up for the crescendo to the campaign with the league and Cup double in his sights.

The rugged back-four operator, speaking to the Celtic View, continued: “The goal is to continue to improve, so naturally you should be at your best at the end of the season. Even when you’re at this point you’re still looking to try and improve.

“I have had a lot of injuries this seaso, so it’s been hard to focus on improving when the concentration has been on getting fit and playing. For the squad as a whole, the aim is to be at this point of the season playing our best.

“The season overall has been frustrating as I want to play as much as I can to help the team. Not being able to to do that has been frustrating.”

Carter-Vickers, who scored the winning goal in the fixture at the same venue just over two years ago, added: “The league and Cup is clearly about results because you need to win games and win trophies.

“However, if you focus on the that too much then you can lose your day-to-day focus.

“When you’re playing big games at this time of the season you want to shut everything out from the outside and just focus on playing our best football.”

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