Steve Clarke questions Rangers v Celtic derby scheduling just before Scotland World Cup qualifier

A day can make a major difference to preparations for an international fixture.

Celtic captain Callum McGregor is one of six Scotland players that could be involved in the Ibrox derby only three days before Scotland crucial World Cup qualifier in Denmark.(Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

That fact leaves Steve Clarke patently unimpressed by the fact Rangers will host Celtic in the clubs’ first cinch Premiership derby of the season on a Sunday – only three days before Scotland are away to Denmark in a crucial World Cup qualifier.

No fewer than six of Clarke’s squad could be involved at Ibrox, Celtic quintent Callum McGregor, Ryan Christie, David Turnbull, Greg Taylor, and James Forrest all regulars for Ange Postecoglou this season while Rangers Nathan Patterson has found game time hard to come by. The turnaround between club and international is only likely to allow for one full days’ training, and Clarke is bemused by the computer scheduling on that basis.

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“It is just one of these things,” he said. “It’s part and parcel of the modern game and the players will tell you they are used to it, but it would have been nicer if Celtic and Rangers had been on the Saturday and not the Sunday, Listen, we will just deal with it and get on with it.”

Asked if he felt he could have been provided more assistance by the SPFL, Clarke said: “I’m not in charge of the fixtures. I don’t know how they feed the balls into that computer which comes up with the fixtures. Sometimes you look at that fixture and think, ‘how did that happen?’ I don’t know how they plan the fixtures, but it’s one of those things and we will deal with it.”

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