Chris Sutton has cranked up the pressure on Rangers manager Michael Beale ahead of three upcoming Old Firm games before the end of the season.

The pair aren't exactly on friendly terms with Beale making his unhappiness with Sutton's punditry crystal clear during an incendiary press conference where he ridiculed the BT Sport regular over his infamously awful Chelsea spell as well as his style of punditry.

Rangers sit nine points adrift in the league title race while defeat in the Viaplay Cup final left their season teetering on the brink of a zero trophy disaster.

And Sutton is sure his sparring partner Beale is under more pressure in upcoming games than his Celtic opponent Ange Postecoglou.

He told the Daily Record: "There’s so much at stake, everything will be on the line, and it’s bring it on as far as I’m concerned. As a player, these are the games you want coming thick and fast – as long as you are the ones on top. Back when we did the green and white wash a few years ago we would have played them every week.

"If you’re getting the runaround, it’s a different story. That’s why Celtic will be quite comfortable at the thought of another derby day to look forward to. And it’s why Rangers will be feeling more wary.

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"There will be pressure on both clubs. There always is. But you do get the sense there is a bit more on Rangers. Celtic already have the Viaplay Cup in the bag and they are in a strong position in the league. The title was always the big target and they are close.

"A win at Celtic Park against Rangers after the international break and it will be just about done. The momentum could take them into the cup clash and that could be a problem for Beale.

"He really needs to win at least one, or maybe even two of these encounters, or he will be up against it even before he gets to his promised summer rebuild. He needs to show he’s learned from the mistakes going in to previous derbies and keep a lid on the big talk.

"All of a sudden they are bullish again after a couple of decent results and the chat seems to be if Nicolas Raskin and Tom Cantwell had started at Hampden last month they would have wiped the floor with Celtic. We’ll soon find out if that’s true. It’s going to get very real for Beale."