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By ESPN Staff

Samaras slams Rangers' style of play

Celtic striker Georgios Samaras claims Rangers are not interested in playing football.

CIS Cup winners Rangers defend a four-point lead in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Celtic Park tonight and have UEFA Cup and Scottish Cup semi-finals to look forward to.

But Samaras is not impressed with their style of play and believes Celtic have the style to breach Walter Smith's 4-5-1 formation at Parkhead.

'My opinion is that they don't try to play football,' the on-loan Manchester City forward said.

'They are all back defensively and try to hit on the counter attack with one striker up front, but that is the philosophy of the club and our philosophy is something else.

'I expected them to play more football and to do something. I look at it from our style of football. We get the ball down and try to create chances to score goals. That is what we will try to do again.

'We have more footballers in our team, who are going to pass the ball and use it on the floor.'

Samaras started the last Old Firm game at Ibrox, when his team lost 1-0 despite dominating the first half.

'I don't care how they play,' the Greece international said. 'The most important thing is the way we play and we must focus on our own performance and trying to win the game.

'I think the last game at Ibrox we didn't get what we deserved. We played good football but that is in the past now and now we have to be ready physically and mentally to try and win this game.'

While Samaras has not been overwhelmed with Rangers' style of play, he has been blown over by the derby atmosphere.

'It is a massive game,' he said. 'I have already played a big game within the same city when I was at Manchester - City versus Manchester United. This match is 10 times bigger and the fans are more fanatical.'

The former Heerenveen striker is unlikely to sample another Manchester derby but he could play in more Old Firm games if he makes his loan deal permanent at the end of the season.

'I'm glad I'm here at Celtic, trying to help me to the European Championship in the summer,' he said. 'That is why I want them to help them win the title but what will happen in the summer, I don't know.

'All I know is I won't be going back to Manchester City. That is for sure. I don't want to go back there. I am happy just now but in the future I want to be the first striker at the club.

'The manager has to tell me I will be one of his first-choice strikers. After the summer we will sit round the table and see what happens. Staying at Celtic is my first choice but only time will tell.'