Graeme Souness launched a fierce defence of Rangers' chances against Celtic after being accused of "bias" by Simon Jordan in an on-air ding dong.

The pair clashed after Souness claimed Rangers have enough quality to beat Celtic in the final league meeting and in the Scottish Cup final next month.

Souness did concede the title is "Celtic's to lose" but insisted there is little to separate the sides this season.

"It’s Celtic’s to lose," said Souness on talkSPORT. "If Rangers can go there and win you’re still hoping Celtic drop something elsewhere because of the goal difference.”

“Yes, in simple terms. If you’re beating your biggest rival - whatever side of the city you’re on - it generally means you’re going to be winning the league and Rangers haven’t done that this season but there’s still time.

“You can’t separate them - Rangers just have to win every single game and go to Parkhead and win a game of football, which isn’t easy, and hope that Celtic drop some points along the line or score enough goals to make up the goal difference.

“I was at the game at Parkhead when they lost 2-1 and they played a long period of the second half with 10 men and I thought they equipped themselves that day and looked like the team that were going to score goals in the second half after Celtic, as they always do at Parkhead, started like a house on fire.

“And then the game at Ibrox, Rangers didn’t start well and it was all Celtic and the game should have been out of sight at half time. Rangers regrouped and were the better team in the second half by a distance. There’s not a lot between the teams. Of course Philippe Clement has the players to go to Celtic Park and Hampden and win.”

Outspoken pundit Jordan replied: “Based upon what? They haven’t beaten Celtic." 

Souness, though, wasted little time in response stating: “I’ve just told you why I think that.”

However, Jordan was not giving up in the debate as he suggested Souness' stance was based on his "Rangers bias".

“That’s because you’re showing your Rangers bias," said Jordan. "They haven’t really laid a glove on Celtic, they haven’t beaten them, and all of that leads me to the conclusion that it leaves them in a situation where they don’t win this league because they don’t beat their major rival.”

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Batting away the accusation, Souness said: “I’ve been in the media for a long time. The last 17 years. And you try all the time … I’ve watched Liverpool, Spurs, Middlesbrough even and I say ‘Am I biased, am I biased?’ But I thought at Parkhead that Celtic could have been out of sight at half time but Rangers could easily have got something with 10 men. And at Ibrox a couple of weeks ago the same thing applied. They could have won the game on another day having been completely outplayed and outfought. So what am I saying? Just start well next time and don’t go two goals down.

“The Celtic players and management will not take anything for granted. The minute you get into your armchair in the football world then you’ll become unstuck - and the same when you start talking a good game and say ‘we’ve done this and that’.

“So from Celtic’s point of view, they still have to turn up every single game they play. The same applies for Celtic and Rangers as Liverpool and Man Utd - every game they play is a cup final. So they can’t rest on their laurels.

“For Rangers it’s about getting back on the horse. They got a reaction and beat a good Hearts team and have to win every single game between now and the end of the season. And then they’ll have had a good season.

“On a standalone 90 minutes, I felt the draw was better for Rangers than Celtic at Ibrox. I was putting myself in both dressing rooms. I’m 2-0 up at half time, it gets back to 2-2 and then it’s 3-2 to Celtic in the 91st minute and Rangers think they’ve lost and end up with a point. If you’re in the Rangers dressing room you’re elated after that game and Celtic will feel they’ve dropped points.

“After that, I’m thinking ‘Rangers will kick on here’. It was a bit of a wake up call so I was thinking ‘get back to basics, make sure we’re really on it for the next game’. But they weren’t and came unstuck and that can happen in football. Then there was the Dundee game. But they showed a reaction on Sunday. “