GREG DOCHERTY reckons the first Old Firm clash of the campaign could be like a ‘basketball game’ as Rangers and Celtic look to take pole position in the title race. 

Steven Gerrard’s side are currently a point clear of the champions and travel to Parkhead aiming to repeat their win there last term. 

Rangers have made an impressive start to the season in the Premiership and Europa League and former Ibrox midfielder Docherty – who joined Hull earlier this summer – told the PA news agency: “It will be so weird for the players walking out of the tunnel to be met with silence. Usually as you run out you get hit by this wall of colour and noise.

“It’s going to be a totally different derby experience, even if a lot of the guys will be now getting used to playing without fans.

“But I think it could end up being a really high-scoring affair – it could end up looking like a basketball game.

“When Rangers go to Celtic Park, their fans are normally outnumbered eight to one but I don’t think you’ll see one team being forced to sit back while the other dominates because Celtic are at home.

“I think instead you’ll see a game that’s end to end, where both teams just go at each other.

“In the Old Firms I played in, the first five or 10 minutes were all about the first tackle and trying to win your battles before the game eventually settled down.

“That stuff will still be there – you’ll never lose that.

“The majority of both squads have played in these matches so they know what it’s all about.

“But it will be different. From a Rangers point of view, when Celtic are attacking you’d usually face a huge roar coming at you with 50-odd thousand willing the ball into the net. You won’t have that this time.

“In the derbies I watched from down in England so far, they have all been pretty high scoring with a few upsets and results you don’t expect thrown in.

"Maybe Saturday will see a lot more football played purely because it will be come down to who is the best team on the day.”