Rangers v Celtic: Gap between sides might be bigger now - Erik Sviatchenko

Erik Sviatchenko scores for Celtic against Ross County on Wednesday
Sviatchenko scored his first goal of the season - from 35 yards - for Celtic against Ross County on Wednesday

Celtic defender Erik Sviatchenko believes the gap between the champions and Rangers may have grown since their last meeting two months ago.

The Premiership leaders head to Ibrox for the first time this season having won 5-1 at Celtic Park in September and 1-0 at Hampden Park in the League Cup.

"I think we have progressed since that game, I think we have been even better.

"So if you take that into account, it might be that the gap is bigger," said the Dane ahead of Saturday's clash.

"You always talk about gaps but you also know that one game can change that perception of it.

"So I think the most important thing is to be respectful and say that we are doing our job and Rangers are doing their job.

"If we at the moment are number one that means something, so we will be doing our best to keep that."

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Highlights: Celtic 2-0 Ross County, Scottish Premiership

Rangers have taken 24 points from a possible 33 since their League Cup semi-final defeat to move into second place in the Premiership, having won four and drawn one of their last five games.

"They have improved, for sure," Sviatchenko acknowledged. "It is always difficult to come back up into the league but they have performed well and you can see that in the table.

"But I think we are still doing really well and we need to focus on ourselves."

Celtic, chasing a sixth successive league title, are unbeaten in 23 domestic matches this season and have won their last 14 matches in the Premiership.

They are within three matches of equalling the club's 'Lisbon Lions' class of 1966-67 that went 26 domestic matches unbeaten at the start of the season - before losing 3-2 at Dundee United on 31 December.

Celtic's unbeaten start to Premiership
Aberdeen W 4-1Hearts W 2-1
Rangers W 5-1St Johnstone W 4-2
Kilmarnock W 6-1Inverness CT D 2-2
Motherwell W 2-0Dundee W 1-0
Inverness CT W 3-0Ross County W 4-0
Hamilton W 1-0Aberdeen W 1-0
Dundee W 2-1Kilmarnock W 1-0
Partick Thistle W 1-0Motherwell W 4-3
Ross County W 2-0Partick Thistle W 4-1
Hamilton W 3-0
P9 W9 D0 L0 Goals F26 A4P10 W9 D1 L0 Goals F26 A9

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