Four talking points ahead of Celtic v Rangers semi-final

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Celtic take on Rangers in Sunday’s William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden.

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Celtic skipper Scott Brown will have to keep his temper in check. Picture: John Devlin

Celtic skipper Scott Brown will have to keep his temper in check. Picture: John Devlin

The Hoops have reigned supreme domestically this season and are hoping to stretch their unbeaten run to 47 matches - but new Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha is looking spring an upset on his Old Firm debut.

Here Andy Newport takes a look at the key talking points ahead of the derby duel.

CAN BRENDAN RODGERS FINALLY COMPLETE CELTIC’S TREBLE QUEST?

Only two Celtic managers have ever led the Parkhead side to a domestic clean sweep - Jock Stein and Martin O’Neill. Rangers’ 2012 financial implosion should have opened the door to both Neil Lennon and Ronny Deila to join that illustrious list but neither was able to take their opportunity. Rodgers, though, has already ticked off two trophies this season and his undefeated league champions now only need to avoid a slip up against Gers to take his treble chase to the season’s show-piece curtain-closer.

READ MORE - Rangers boss clocks up hours in bid to find way past Celtic

SCOTT BROWN NEEDS TO AVOID THE RED MIST

The Celtic skipper has been the picture of maturity - or as near as he can get to that - throughout most of this campaign but fell back into some of his bad old habits on Sunday as he picked up a needless red card for scything down Liam Boyce during the drama-filled closing stages of the 2-2 draw at Ross County. He will only be able to line-up at Hampden after Celtic appealed the sending off and Rodgers will need his captain to keep his temper in check amid the powder-keg Old Firm atmosphere.

CAIXINHA’S DERBY BOW

Pedro Caixinha decided to watch last month’s derby clash from the Celtic Park directors box so he could assess the group of players he had inherited just 24 hours before. He was given plenty food for thought as a Light Blues squad bossed by caretaker Graeme Murty claimed a credible 1-1 draw on enemy territory. This time, however, it is the Portuguese coach who will be tasked with masterminding a result for Rangers. It’s been a reasonable start for the 46-year-old with three wins and two draws so far - but a derby triumph would win him instant respect from the Ibrox faithful.

REFEREES UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT

The performance of whistler Don Robertson during Celtic’s controversial draw in Dingwall has opened up that old debate on the standard of Scottish refereeing - not to mention to the odd conspiracy theory about anti-Celtic sentiments among officials. Robertson will be on duty again on Sunday as one of Willie Collum’s additional assistant referees and he will be hoping the match passes without him having to make another controversial call.

READ MORE - Rangers boss clocks up hours in bid to find way past Celtic