Friday, August 12, 2022

Old Firm Derby: The Massive Battles On The Pitch When Rangers Face Off Against Celtic

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Snehanjan Banerjee
Snehanjan used to a former columnist at The 4th Official. Fan of KK, Cricket and Liverpool (in no particular order).

All eyes will be on Hampden Park this Sunday as it is time for the second Old Firm Derby of the season. The two most successful clubs in Scottish football Celtic and Rangers will lock horns in the semi-finals of the Scottish League Cup. The two iconic clubs already played each other once this season that was in the Premiership. It was nothing but sheer humiliation for Rangers as they surrendered to the quality of their bitter rivals, losing the game 5-1.

Can Mark Warburton’s side get a revenge over their crosstown rivals or once again they will leave the stadium with blushes? We have to wait for the outcome. Here are three key battles those could decide the outcome of the game-

Andy Halliday vs Scott Brown

When the two sides faced each other last month, Celtic skipper Brown absolutely dominated the middle of the park. The bitter relationship between him and Joey Barton dominated the build-up for that game but Brown easily outplayed his counterpart in that game.

With Barton suspended by Rangers now, Brown will have to face Andy Halliday in order to dominate the midfield area. Halliday is much younger when compared to the Scottish international and has done really well of late at the base of Rangers midfield with his excellent passing and tenacity. Brown is a player who usually lives up to the big occasions but we have to wait and see if he can nullify Halliday’s impact.

MOTHERWELL, SCOTLAND - JULY 16: Andy Halliday of Rangers in action during the Scottish League Cup First Round Group Stage match between Motherwell FC and Rangers FC at Fir Park on July 16, 2016 in Motherwell, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Martyn Waghorn vs Kieran Tierney

Rangers boss Mark Warburton has faced plenty of criticism for playing his best striker Waghorn out of position on the right flank. However, that is unlikely to change against Celtic. Waghorn has looked off-colour this season performing in patches and will face a tricky battle against young left-back Kieran Tierney.

Tierney is one of the biggest young prospects in Scottish football now and is a modern day full-back who is influential on either end of the pitch. Waghorn, being a striker by trade does not provide enough defensively by tracking back and therefore, Tierney can have joy bursting forward as he does on a regular basis.

Scott Sinclair vs James Tavernier

It’s good to see a quality player like Scott Sinclair managing to revive his stalled career in English football so quickly after his move to Celtic this summer. The English winger already has eight goals to his name in all competitions this season and provides a major goal threat from down the left flank. The experience he possesses will be a key for Brendan Rodgers’ side in such a big game.

The former Manchester City star will have to contend with James Tavernier on the flank. Tavernier is an attacking minded full-back but has to do well defensively in order to deal with the threat posed by Sinclair.

 

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