Celtic v Rangers: Brendan Rodgers relishing first Old Firm derby

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers
Rodgers shows off his manager of the month award for August

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers hopes his first Old Firm derby will live up to expectations and bring him success.

The Premiership leaders welcome Rangers to the east end of Glasgow on Saturday at 12:00 BST.

"It was one of the first fixtures I looked for," said Rodgers, who took charge in May. "It's another game but it's a special game.

"There's a uniqueness to each derby and this is one that is iconic throughout the world."

Celtic lead second-placed Rangers by one point at the top of the table with a game in hand.

Although the sides have met in the Scottish FA Cup and League Cup in the past two seasons, they have not played each other in the Premiership since 2012.

Rodgers, who has never attended an Old Firm derby, said: "I don't think anything will prepare you from watching it on the telly to actually being there.

"This being the first time in a number of years there's been a Celtic-Rangers game at Celtic Park, that will add that little bit of spice to it. The atmosphere will be incredible."

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'This is a special game'

Former Liverpool and Swansea boss Rodgers added: "Every derby is different. The Merseyside derby was a fantastic game, the South Wales derby being different in its own way - great games to be involved in. And Liverpool against Manchester United is a real inter-city rivalry.

"But this again is a special game. I'm really looking forward to it and I know the team are.

"From where they were a few months ago it's a different team and a different identity within it. I've got huge confidence in the team."

Rangers beat Celtic 5-4 on penalties the last time the sides met, in the Scottish FA Cup semi-final last season.

But Rodgers, named Premiership manager of the month in August, accepts Celtic's tag as favourites.

"When you are Celtic and when you play a game at home that is what's expected of you," he said.

"We're not running away from it to say we don't want to be the favourite for the game, because whether we were playing Rangers, Aberdeen, St Johnstone or Hearts - whoever we play at home - our objective is to win.

"There was disappointment the last time Celtic played Rangers in the cup so this will be a good measure to see what level the team is at. But it'll be a tough game."

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