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Celtic v Rangers: Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side must win to stop treble – Kenny Miller

Scottish Cup semi-final: Celtic v Rangers
Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow Date: Sunday, 17 April Kick-off: 14:00 BST
Coverage: Listen to match commentary & analysis on Sportsound, follow live text updates on BBC Sport website & app, and watch highlights on Sportscene

Retaining the Premiership title seems too big an ask for Rangers, so Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final is monumental for Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

Winning that trophy is a must for the manager, not just to finish the season with domestic silverware – but to stop Celtic winning a fifth treble in six seasons and to avoid a third straight derby defeat.

With the form Ange Postecoglou’s side have shown since September, going 33 games unbeaten and six points clear in the league, they do not look like losing games and another treble is increasingly likely.

Rangers, buoyant after their European success, look like the one team that could stop that – and they simply have to.

‘A chance to put things right’

Rangers might have been good for a draw in the recent derby defeat at Ibrox – a game I felt they played pretty well in – but these fixtures are decided by small margins. However, this Sunday is their chance to put things right.

Winning the league last season was absolutely huge, the first title in a decade and stopping Celtic getting ‘the 10’, but Rangers are built on delivering trophies consistently.

When you walk through the door at Ibrox, you are expected to win cups. For that to not have been achieved for 11 years is just not good enough – there is no getting away from that.

Steven Gerrard did an unbelievable job rebuilding the team to the point they were able to compete and win leagues, now it is absolutely crucial that Rangers do not go backwards, which makes Sunday even bigger.

‘2016 brings back fondest memory’

With the reduced allocations still in force for league games, this occasion will create a special atmosphere for the players.

The equal energy from both sides of the ground makes these Old Firm cup ties at Hampden unforgettable, and I have standout memories for different reasons.

I remember the 4-0 Scottish Cup semi-final defeat four years ago for all the wrong ones, given I never played for Rangers again after that day, and a 2-0 extra-time loss in the 2009 League Cup final stopped us winning a treble.

But the one that sticks out most fondly is the 2016 Scottish Cup semi-final win on penalties under Mark Warburton, just for what it meant to the club.

Even though we were in the Championship, we went into the game with so much confidence because we had just sealed promotion and played well all season.

It was a question of whether we could handle and compete with Celtic – and they underestimated us that day.

Kenny Miller scores v Celtic
Former Rangers and Celtic striker Miller scored the opening goal in an epic 2-2 semi-final in 2016, which Mark Warburton’s side won on penalties

I fully believe that result coaxed Celtic into bringing in Brendan Rodgers to replace Ronny Deila. It was a shock to them, not just the result but how the game went – it was a pivotal moment.

But for us, the memories were so emotional. Being a second-tier side, it was such a massive marker for us to hit as a group.

There were people in the backroom team like Davie Lavery and Jimmy Bell, who had been at the club throughout the journey back to the top flight, while Lee Wallace had been a player during that entire period and Davie Weir was also back at the club as Warburton’s assistant.

These guys are real supporters of Rangers, so when we won that game, it just meant so much to them.

I remember seeing them all post-match and I got emotional myself giving big Lavery a hug. We all knew what that game meant, now it is vital the current side recognise the same on Sunday.

Kenny Miller was speaking to BBC Scotland’s Nick McPheat.

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