Ally McCoist believes Rangers can’t afford to lose the upcoming Old Firm clash if they are to keep their Premiership title hopes alive.
The third Glasgow derby of the season at Ibrox could go a long way to deciding the destination of the top-flight title come May, with the reigning champions trailing Celtic by three points.
Ange Postecoglou’s side haven’t tasted defeat domestically since October - a run spanning 25 games, including a comfortable 3-0 triumph over their arch rivals last month.
Despite their impressive unbeaten streak, McCoist is confident his old team Rangers will ensure lightening doesn’t strike twice.
Speaking on Sky Sports News, he said: “It’s one of the biggest Old Firm games, certainly the biggest for a while.
“I don’t think Rangers can afford to get beat. Postecoglou has done a great at Celtic and they have put themselves in a very good position.
“There’s three games coming up in the next month or so, if you include the Scottish Cup semi-final, so there won’t be a dull moment north of the border, particularly in the Glasgow area.
“But from Rangers’ point of view, defeat is unthinkable as I think it would make the gap (to Celtic) far too big.
“I think both teams have a little bit of form. Rangers in Europe have been excellent, domestically the form has been a little bit up and down.
“They had a massive win at Dundee where they didn’t play particularly well but they are hanging onto Celtic’s coattails and with this game coming up, I think we’re going to see a different Rangers.
“It’s a game they certainly cannot afford to lose and I think they’ll certainly go about their business in a manner that they have to win the game.”
McCoist highlighted on loan Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey as a key factor for Rangers after coming through Wales’ World Cup play-off semi-final victory over Austria unscathed.
The 31-year-old has struggled to hit the ground running with the Scottish champions due to various fitness problems, but scored his first goal for the club against Dundee before playing the entire 90 minutes for his country on Thursday night.
McCoist stated: “He’s class isn’t he? He’s a wonderful football player.
“It’s been highly documented that he’s struggled a little bit with injuries to keep him 100 per cent fit which is a great shame because we all want to see good players on the pitch and he’s certainly that.
“He’ll have a real bonus after scoring his first goal in Dundee and I think he played the entire game (for Wales). That’s a real positive in terms of his fitness.
“I’m very hopeful that he can get his feet up, have a rest and get himself ready for this Old Firm game because I want to see Aaron Ramsey playing in that.”