And the 21-year-old centre-half, who played 75 minutes of the goalless draw at Parkhead in December, insisted the confidence of his team-mates should not be mistaken for cockiness.
On being told that the Rangers players had cheered in the dressing room after their William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final victory over Falkirk, when they heard that they had drawn Celtic in the semi-finals, Rodgers said: "Be careful what you wish for".
Rangers play celtic at Ibrox on Sunday in a game where, if they win, they can reduce the gap at the top to just three points.
Despite a 2-0 win over Aberdeen in their last Premiership outing, Celtic have lost two of their past five away league games - as many as they had in their previous 43 combined.More news: Blockbuster: February Jobs Report 'Crushes' Expectations, GOP Policies Boosting Economy
Celtic have some superb attacking players, such as Scott Sinclair, James Forrest and Moussa Dembele, and it will be interesting to see how Bates copes. Everyone wrote us off at the start of the season but I think we've done well so far.
"Celtic, on their day, are a very good side". "We also respect our opposition and we'll focus on what we're trying to do".
"We played a practice game this week and he looked really strong". We've been conceding a few chances at the back recently, too, but not much.
"The way we're playing and the fact we're scoring goals makes everyone confident and I can see why the fans are feeling that way, too".More news: Saudi Grants Airspace Approval For Flights To Israel
Sunderland must be anxious about losing players in the summer window with a drop down to League One looking more likely than not right now.
"For the supporters, the main thing was to get back in this league and to compete again in Old Firm games".
Bates told The Scottish Sun: "I obviously train against our strikers and they're making me better - if you need to defend one-v-one against someone like Alfredo Morelos or Jason Cummings then you will get better from that".More news: Download Android P Launcher - Brings Focus Back to the Dock!
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