BIG SHOT Ismaila Soro may have blasted his way into Neil Lennon’s first team for the match at Ibrox on Saturday.

The Ivorian anchorman, getting another run with skipper Scott Brown on the substitutes’ bench, fired in his first goal for Celtic in their 3-0 victory over Dundee United at Parkhead yesterday.

Soro’s mighty 25-yard right-foot drive completely bamboozled Tannadice keeper Ben Siegrist as it dipped and swerved before exploding behind him into the net to open the scoring in the 23rd minute. The impressive David Turnbull thumped in a second before the interval and Odsonne Edouard lobbed in a third 15 minutes from time.

Lennon was all smiles as he applauded the whizzbang effort from the midfielder, a £2million arrival in January, and there was a special cuddle for the 22-year-old when he came off in the 80th minute with Brown getting a run before this weekend’s derby.

BY THE RIGHT…Ismaila Soro prepares to launch his first Celtic goal against Dundee United.

The delighted Hoops gaffer, speaking to the Daily Record, smiled: “Ismaila played very well and the goal is a bonus. I’m just pleased with the way he’s handling the game at the minute and his use of the ball.

“His passing is very crisp and clean and he’s played very well since he came into the team as has David Turnbull and we got another goal from him, too.

“Our confidence is good, but we’re not getting carried away. It’ll be a tough game for us as Rangers are in great form and they have been all season.

“It’s a great challenge for us, but we’re starting to find good consistency as well and I want to take that into the game on Saturday and get a good result.”

Now Lennon has a decision to make before the encounter in Govan. Does he start with Brown as he did in the Scottish Cup Final against Hearts where the 35-year-old powerhouse delivered a Man of the Match performance?

SORO’S ALL SMILES…the Ivorian races away after putting Celtic ahead.

Or does he go with the zestful enthusiasm of Soro who has hardly put a foot wrong since making his long-awaited first start in the 3-2 win over Lille in the Europa League Group H earlier this month?

It’s something for the Celtic manager to ponder as the clock ticks down to a must-win confrontation.


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