CALLUM McGregor last night tipped Leigh Griffiths to join Celtic’s exclusive 100 club - by bagging a double against Rangers in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden on Sunday.

Griffiths scored his 98th goal for the Parkhead club yesterday less than a minute after coming on for Jack Hendry at half-time in the Ladbrokes Premiership game against Hamilton at the SuperSeal Stadium.

His 46th minute header ensured Brendan Rodgers’s side won 2-1 to move 13 points clear at top of the table with five league games remaining and to within a triumph of their seventh consecutive Scottish title.

The 27-year-old has been sidelined for over two months with a calf injury - but his display in South Lanarkshire and his 15th goal of the 2017/18 campaign has given him a chance of a start against Rangers.

McGregor, who opened the scoring in the third minute yesterday with his ninth goal of the season, has backed his team mate to reach his century in the fourth Glasgow debut match to be played this term.

Asked if he could become the first player to reach the landmark since John Hartson 12 years ago in the game against Rangers, McGregor said: “You can never back against Griff, he’s that type of player.

"He’s a big time player and once he gets one he could get two or three. He’s the type of boy who just shoots and more often than not it goes into the net.

“Reaching 100 goals would be a special achievement for him and all of the boys will be delighted and proud of him as well.”

Meanwhile, McGregor has added his voice to the calls for the SPFL to give Celtic the chance to clinch the Premiership against Rangers at Parkhead when they release the post-split fixtures this week.

Rodgers yesterday branded it “sad” that his team probably wouldn’t get the opportunity to retain the Scottish title against their city rivals.

He was speaking the day after Manchester City, who were 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League with seven games remaining, took on their nearest challengers Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in a game they lost 3-2.

Asked if the Celtic players would like the chance to win the league against Rangers, he said: “I think so. If you ask any of our players, or every player across the world, if you would like to win the league against your biggest rivals then it would be a definite ‘yes’.

“People may look at it slightly differently in terms of security and what have you, but as a footballer they are the games you want to play in, winning titles in these big games.”

McGregor feels Celtic are in good shape to record their eighth win in their last 10 meetings with Rangers thanks to the return of Griffiths, Kieran Tierney, who made his comeback after three weeks out with a calf injury yesterday, and Patrick Roberts, who started for the first time since November.

“We are getting boys back and getting them game time,”he said.“I thought Patrick Roberts was excellent. He’s now getting back into it and he always gives you that bit of quality. He’s great one on one and can create chances just as he did for my goal.

“Griff also came on and scored a goal so we have threats on the bench and we also have a lot of boys in the stand so it shows you the depth we have. It shows you how good our squad is. When everyone applies themselves properly then we have a great squad.

“Kieran came in at left back and gave me a break there - I didn’t need to look and see what was behind me. I was delighted to have him back as you see the quality and threat he has going forward. The squad is getting stronger every day.”

McGregor added:“It will give us more confidence and we know we can go and wrap the league up the week after the Rangers game.

“There was a lot of noise coming from Rangers the last time we played them and that started to turn heads and maybe swung things in their favour going into the game.

“Now we have that confidence. Rangers will be confident as well, but we know in the tough situations we can look after ourselves so we will be confident.”

McGregor, who netted his ninth goal of the season yesterday, believes Celtic, chasing their second treble in two years, can now score goals from every area of the team and can beat Rangers finish the season strongly as a result.

“I am desperate to get to 10,” he said. “I have got another one now. It will give me a bit of confidence going into the last six or seven games. Hopefully I can get into the double figure bracket.”

“Collectively as a group we have not scored that many goals this season. We would like to score more goals and have threats from all over the pitch and get back to where we last season with goal threats from all over the park.

“The aim is to finish with style. We’ve been trying to get back to that aggressive style of play with counter-attacking and counter-pressing.

“That has been lacking a wee bit in the last few weeks, but we want to put our foot to the floor for the last six or seven games we have left of the season. We want to try and finish with a flourish.”