Chris Sutton has heaped the pressure on Michael Beale and Rangers ahead of Sunday's Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic.

The Ibrox club simply must win to salvage some pride in this year's campaign after losing out in the League Cup while also being 12 points behind the Premiership title race.

Sutton has enjoyed witnessing Rangers struggling this term and he believes that Beale has a lot of learning to do in Glasgow.

Speaking to the Daily Record, he said: “Do I think the Aberdeen result will have a bearing on the semi-final? Absolutely not.

“There was only the tiniest chance of Rangers winning the league after Celtic’s slip up, but it was an opportunity gone. They will have wanted to go into the game with real momentum.

“I still think they have issues, especially if Goldson and Kent aren’t fit. It’s enormous for Rangers. They are the team under major pressure in this game.

“It’s a must win for Beale. If they don’t there will inevitably be pressure on the start of next season. This year, you’ve had the Scottish league and you’ve had the Michael Beale league. He’s losing in both and now he has this enormous game on Sunday.

“Beale has had a lot to say about Ange Postecoglou, he’s had a lot to say about a lot of things, and that’s okay. But the important thing is backing it up on the pitch.

“Domestically they have improved and made Aberdeen will give them a kick up the backside. I’d make Celtic slight favourites but the pressure is all on Rangers."

Speaking earlier this week, Sutton added: "Domestically, Michael Beale, bar Celtic, has performed well. But if he loses the semi-final there will be Rangers fans questioning his appointment – that’s just the nature of Glasgow. You have to finish on top, second is last, and this is the big problem for him.

“He’s talked up, and a lot of the players do this at Rangers, they talk themselves up going into the Celtic game. It’s not a bigger game for Rangers but it’s a game that will put them under major pressure if Rangers don’t win it.

“Michael Beale came in and he had the quip about ‘lucky’ Ange [Postecoglou], which I suspect right now, he regrets. I understand that he has to come in and make his mark, and there’s that great rivalry, but I think he could have played things a bit differently.

“From things he’s said in recent weeks, he’s watering down a bit and if you asked him privately, I suspect he’d regret coming in and trying to big himself up.”