Celtic are due to face Rangers at the Celtic Park on Saturday and it goes without saying that the animosity that the Old Firm derby offers still sends shivers down the spine. While the Celts have been having the last laugh in such encounters more often than not in the recent times, one should not undervalue the calibre which Graeme Murty’s side possesses and despite not being at their very best, they have the potential to go toe-to-toe against Brendan Rodgers’ side.
After losing 4-0 to Heart of Midlothian which ended their unbeaten run of 69 games, the Hoops have responded pretty well and have defeated Partick Thistle, Aberdeen and Dundee and thus, they have clinched three wins on the trot. Celtic are placed at the top of the Scottish Premiership table with 50 points to their name after 21 games and are yet again the favourites to clinch the Scottish top division title.
Unlike the Bhoys, the Gers have been inconsistent in their outings. After losing a couple of games on the bounce, comprising of defeats at the hands of St. Johnstone and Kilmarnock, the Light Blues produced a 2-0 win over Motherwell in their last fixture and are apparently placed 3rd on the league table with 39 points. Thus, the game promises to be a cracker and should intrigue the football fraternity.
While Celtic would be fighting to maintain their stronghold at the top of the league table, Murty’s men would be looking for redemption and they would be keen to at least finish at the 2nd spot on the league table. Murty has been decent so far in shepherding his personnel and it would be interesting to see how he fares against the arch rivals of his side.
Rangers will be bereft of the services of Lee Wallace, Jordan Rossiter, Kenny Miller and Graham Dorrans due to their injuries and in such a big clash, Miller and Wallace are seemingly likely to be missed the most.
On the other hand, Rodgers’ side will be without Jonny Hayes, who suffered a broken leg during their clash against Dundee and apart from him, they will also be without Anthony Ralston, Patrick Roberts and Tom Rogic.
Gordon; Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney; Ntcham, Brown; Forrest, McGregor, Sinclair; Dembele.
Foderingham; Tavernier, Alves, Wilson, John; McCrorie; Holt, Kranjcar; Candeias; Morelos, Windass.
The Hoops will be looking towards each and every player of their side to put in their best effort to win this mega-clash but they will mostly be dependent on striker Moussa Dembele to help them get three more important points in their bag, strengthening their position at the top of the league table.
The Bluenoses will be looking to make a mark in the Old Firm derby with a victory over their longstanding enemies and will be looking up to forward Josh Windass to give their side the much-needed impetus in getting the better of their bitter rivals.
Celtic Win: 1/3
Rangers Win: 8/1
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