Celtic's new signing Alistair Johnston believes he's ready to thrive in the heat of derby battle with Rangers.

The Canadian international right-back, signed from MLS side CF Montreal earlier this month, will be available for selection at Ibrox on Monday after his transfer is officially registered on January 1.

Ange Postecoglou could also call upon Japanese centre-back Yuki Kobayashi, who has joined the Premiership champions from from Vissel Kobe, but faced the same wait for the winter transfer window to open.

Johnston will compete with Anthony Ralston and Josip Juranovic for a place in the team, with the latter likely to start in a first derby meeting between Postecoglou and new Rangers manager Michael Beale.

Johnston has had to settle for a watching berth over the past few weeks but is adamant he could handle the occasion if his manager decides to throw him in at the deep end.

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“That’s definitely the kind of games I get up for even more," the defender said. "I think you could say that for the whole city – obviously, Rangers and Celtic is a match known around the world.

“But at the same time we completely understand that if you win that, it’s still three points. There’s of course added significance and we understand that.

“There’s definitely a lead at the top right now, but all it takes is a couple of weeks and that’s gone.

“So, we’re really focused on keeping that momentum going that we have currently – and when that match comes around, well of course it’s one we’re all going to circle our calendars for.

“Celtic, especially. It’s a great game for a player like myself. That physical battle is something that I really enjoy and it really gets me up for a match.”