An outing for Steven Davis against Celtic today would provide him a 23rd experience of the Old Firm fixture.
The on-loan Southampton midfielder has more games for Rangers against their city rivals than any other team. With 10 wins, and four draws, his record in the confrontation is decent. The 34-year-old is comforted by the fact that the same could now be said about his fitness following a frustrating return to an Ibrox club he hopes to remain with beyond the summer. Three 90 minutes inside nine days, which involved playing every minute of Northern Ireland’s wins over Estonia and Belarus, means he feels ready to make the impact he expected on pitching up in Glasgow again in January.
Yet, none of this adds up to the potential of an experience to simply soak up this afternoon. Meetings between Glasgow’s big two don’t allow that, he maintains, whatever the circumstances.
“It’s one of the best fixtures in the world, but a bit difficult to enjoy at times when you are in it,” Davis said. “It’s not until after the game, if you’ve got the right result, that you can take it in.
“It depends on how the result is going, maybe if you’ve got a cushion you can enjoy it. There are certain games that come to mind that are particularly special, the last couple of games at home in that final season of mine [2011-12] spring to mind.
“The League Cup final [of 2011, when I scored] as well, though that was a difficult one to enjoy because it went to extra time. So there’s some good memories, some not so good. It’s a million miles an hour and you can get caught up in the emotion of it.
“The last win at Celtic Park was in 2010, so any time is a good time to end that run now because it’s been too long. You just need to try and put any seed of doubt in their mind if possible.
“They have a healthy [ten-point] cushion and it’s going to be very difficult for us. As big as the gap is, you just don’t know what can happen in football.”