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Rangers vs Celtic betting tips: Scottish Premiership preview, predictions, team news and odds

Rangers vs Celtic odds and betting statistics



Rangers vs Celtic match preview

Old Firm derbies are always occasions to savour but, given that neither of these two great rivals are at their best, this clash is particularly difficult to predict.

Rangers have the advantage of being at home, but come into this fixture wounded, following a hammering in the Netherlands in mid-week.

The Light Blues held PSV to a 2-2 draw in the first leg of their Champions League play-off before, on Wednesday, being embarrassingly smashed 5-1 at Philips Stadion in the return tie.

When James Tavernier pulled it back to 2-1 on the night shortly after the hour mark, it appeared to be game in on Eindhoven.

On the contrary, the Gers were calamitous from that point on, conceding just two minutes later and then twice more after that, a miserable night capped off by Connor Goldson’s calamitous own goal.

So, unlike their fierce rivals, Michael Beale’s team will have to settle for a place in the Europa League group phase.

Last weekend, they made it three domestic wins on the spin by beating Ross County 2-0 in Dingwall, with Kemar Roofe breaking the deadlock, before James Tavernier fired home an unstoppable rocket soon after.

Nevertheless, the Light Blues are far from firing on all cylinders just now, so can they raise their game for this huge first Glasgow Derby of the campaign?

The same can certainly be said of Celtic, even though they haven’t had UEFA qualifiers to contend with, going straight into the Champions League group stages as Premiership champions.

A fortnight ago, the holders were dumped out of the League Cup by Kilmarnock, beaten 1-0, thereby failing to reach the quarter-finals of that competition for just the fifth time in 60 years; remarkable figures!

Then, last weekend, Brendan Rodgers’ team saw their 100% start in the Premiership come to an end, held to a goalless draw at Parkhead by a St Johnstone side who, at kick off, were rock bottom and pointless.

This is the first time in over five years the Hoops have failed to score in back-to-back domestic games; they last failed to net in three on the spin in October 1994.

Supporters are concerned, given that this team just aren’t clicking under Rodgers yet, although they can take heat from his record in derbies, winning ten out of 13 during his first spell in charge, losing only one.

Rangers too have won just two of the last ten Old Firms, one of which was their 3-0 victory in the dead-rubber derby back in May.

This clash at Ibrox could go either-way, so who will claim Glasgow bragging rights and three points in this derby that should guarantee goals.

Rangers team news

Left-back Borna Barišić went off injured on Wednesday, so is highly-unlikely to feature here, and, with Rıdvan Yılmaz also sidelined, summer signing from Chelsea Dujon Sterling is set to deputise.

Ryan Jack was surprisingly left on the bench in Eindhoven, but is likely to come in for John Lundstram.

In attack is where Michael Beale has the biggest decision to make, given that he has seven players fighting for three positions.

Todd Cantwell is set to keep his place, but Abdallah Sima and Danilo could come in, with Rabbi Matondo and Cyriel Dessers thereby joining Sam Lammers on the bench.

Meanwhile, Kemar Roofe, who broke the deadlock last weekend, is back in contention, having not traveled to the Netherlands as he wasn’t in the UEFA squad for the play-off round.

Predicted XI (4-3-3): Butland; Tavernier, Goldson, Souttar, Sterling; Raskin, Jack, Cifuentes; Cantwell, Danilo, Sima.

Celtic team news

Celtic have had over a week to prepare for this derby, so will that prove to be a massive advantage?

Brendan Rodgers is experiencing something of a defensive injury crisis right now, with Maik Nawrocki, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Yuki Kobayashi and Stephen Welsh all sidelined.

So Nat Phillips, who only arrived on loan from Liverpool on Thursday, could make his debut, put into a baptism of fire, partnering fellow new-recruit Gustaf Lagerbielk at centre-back.

They were certainly busy in the transfer market this week, with Paulo Bernardo and Luis Palma also arriving on deadline day.

This back-line crisis was somewhat aided by the return of Alistair Johnston, who last an hour last weekend, his first appearance for anyone since the CONCACAF Nations League Final on 18 June.

In midfield, with Reo Hatate sidelined, David Turnbull will keep his place, while Liel Abada, who scored twice in an Old Firm exactly a year ago, will return to attack.

Predicted XI (4-3-3): Hart; Johnston, Phillips, Lagerbielke, Taylor; McGregor, O’Riley, Turnbull; Abada, Maeda, Kyōgo.

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Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".

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