Celtic have thoroughly dominated the Old Firm derbies in recent years but the encounter on Sunday lunchtime might just be the sweetest one when they will be hosting Rangers at Celtic Park. A win will confirm their seventh successive Premiership title and the Hoops will be demanding the same as the icing on the cake.
Rangers, on the other hand, are competing Aberdeen and Hibernian for the runners-up spot and despite losing their relevance in title battle, Graeme Murty’s men will be determined to delay the celebrations at Parkhead similar to the Hibs who won the contest last week defeating Rodgers’ juggernaut as Neil Lennon, the ex-Celtic boss, clinched a moral victory with his newly promoted force.
The Gers are going through a turmoil but pulled off an edgy yet comprehensive win last week versus Hearts. They are looking to prove a point against the mighty rivals and avoiding a defeat will be a statement for the upcoming campaign where they are believed to reintegrate themselves in order to reignite the long-gone fierce battle for the Premiership throne.
Celtic Team News
Celtic’s Jonny Hayes and Nir Bitton are ruled out for the season with broken leg and knee surgery. Mikael Lustig will miss the clash as well with a broken toe.
Rangers Team News
The Gers are having a few significant injury absentees as custodian Wes Foderingham is likely to miss the trip with a shoulder injury whereas veteran Bruno Alves remains a doubt with a knock. David Bates suffered an ankle injury in a previous derby encounter and is still sidelined. Ryan Jack is unlikely to return this term following a knee injury whereas Lee Wallace and Kenny Miller, the veteran duo, are suspended indefinitely due to internal disciplinary concerns.
Celtic (4-2-3-1): Craig Gordon; Jack Hendry, Kristoffer Ajer, Dedryck Boyata, Kieran Tierney; Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham; James Forrest, Tom Rogic, Callum McGregor; Moussa Dembele.
Rangers (4-2-3-1): Jak Alnwick; James Tavernier, Ross McCrorie, Russell Martin, Declan John; Jason Holt, Graham Dorrans; Daniel Candeias, Josh Windass, Jamie Murphy; Alfredo Morelos.
Celtic have multiple match winners in their ranks and the likes of Moussa Dembele, Callum McGregor and Tom Rogic have demolished the Light Blues on a number of occasions and will be eyeing the same this weekend at Celtic Park.
The Gers will have an uphill battle on Sunday afternoon and there’s little hope of salvaging something on the road. They will be relying on Alfredo Morelos and Josh Windass for goals whereas Daniel Candeias and Jamie Murphy are expected to create opportunities from the flanks.
Celtic Win: 1/2
Rangers Win: 5/1
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