Rangers defender Danny Wilson has only happy memories of the Old Firm derby from his first spell at Ibrox and the centre-back is hoping to keep it that way when he reunites with the fixture tomorrow afternoon.
Wilson rejoined his first club last summer five years after leaving for Liverpool following an outstanding debut season.
While he played enough in a Rangers jersey to earn Young Player of the Year honours, he was only trusted with an appearance in one match against rivals Celtic.
That contest took place at Celtic Park on 3 January 2010 when Tony Mowbray’s hosts were desperate to get themselves back into the SPL title race having slipped seven points behind.
It was a complete backs-to-the-wall performance in which Wilson and his fellow defenders withstood a barrage of Celtic attacks until the 79th minute.
Finally the hosts broke through with Scott McDonald scoring, only for Lee McCulloch to tie it up two minutes later, and the match finished a 1-1 draw.
It was a fatal blow to Celtic’s title hopes. They never regained the momentum required and manager Mowbray would be sacked before the end of the season.
Similar pressure surrounds current Celtic boss Ronny Deila ahead of tomorrow’s semi-final, with anything other than a convincing victory unlikely to reflect positively on the under-fire Norwegian. If he is to receive the result he desires, Celtic’s attackers will have to do a better job than the last time the club faced a Rangers defence with Wilson at the heart of it.
“I played the month previously and then went out of the team as Madjid Bougherra came back to fitness. Then he went off to the African Nations and I got the nod to play in the game,” recalled Wilson.
“I was delighted about it. It kind of just went past in a blur. It’s a game like no other. I just remember going mad when Lee McCulloch equalised with a header.
“It proved to be an important point for us that day and hopefully we can make more good memories this weekend. It’s going to be a tough game.
“They’ve been the best team in the country the last X amount of years, but Sunday’s a good challenge to go against them and see how we do.
I’m looking forward to the game, as we all are, but at the same time we should enjoy it because these are the games we want to be playing in.
“Next season there will be four games against them so we can see where we are now, in terms of this game, going into next season.”