RYAN KENT knows what the clashes with Celtic mean to those that watch on as he has harnessed the energy and passion of Scottish football's most famous fixture.

And he is confident the Old Firm encounter will bring out the best in him once again - even if the famous atmosphere is missing this time around.

The winger has become a man for the big occasion for boss Steven Gerrard as he has stepped up when needed to produce in some of Rangers' most important fixtures in recent seasons.

Kent scored the opening goal in the 2-1 victory over Neil Lennon's side in December and is one of the most likely match-winners for the first Old Firm of the Premiership campaign.

And with five goals to his credit already this term, the 23-year-old is relishing the chance to perform on a unique derby stage.

Kent said: “I think in terms of my output in the games, in terms of numbers, it is the best position I have been in since I have been at Rangers.

"The start to the season I’ve had, hopefully I can have a good impact on the game and get myself on the scoresheet or make a good impact for the team. It is a game where you want to feel the way that the fans are feeling, you want to show the love for the game that the fans have.

"This fixture is special up here and that is passed on to the players so when you step out onto the pitch in these games you feel that buzz and excitement and you want to go and put on a performance and get a result.

“I think even if I am not having a good game I always feel confident, that is the way I have to be and the way I approach the game.

"If I am not confident then I am not going to affect the game. I might lose the ball five or six times on the bounce, but there might be one occasion where I get success and that is the way I can affect it.”

Rangers make the trip across Glasgow with a slender advantage in the title race and there is plenty at stake as domestic action return after the international break.

As Gerrard looks to win the Premiership at the third time of asking, Celtic have their sights set on an historic tenth successive top flight crown.

The Old Firm encounters could be crucial in determining the destination of the silverware this term.

And Kent knows there will be no let-up in the intensity of the competition once the whistle goes despite the empty stands at Parkhead.

Kent said: “Obviously it is going to be a bit different to what it has been before. I think the fans make this fixture one and it is one of the biggest derbies in the world because of the fans.

"Regardless of the fans being there, I expect the intensity and the aggressiveness in the game to still be there.

“There is probably pressure on both teams, their fans want them to go on and achieve that and our fans are expecting us to stop it. There is pressure on both sides.

"In this fixture, it is whoever turns up on the day and with the success that we have had there before I think we can go there and get the job done. We are confident on our side.”