Celtic have wrapped up the title and Rangers don’t have anything to play for in the upcoming derby. However, they will love to get one back over their arch-rivals and give themselves the bragging rights of defeating Celtic. Rangers under Gerrard have performed well in the derbies, and the Gers faithful should believe in one last effort from their team.
The Hoops have looked lacklustre on occasions, but they have got the job done in the past few months. That is a hallmark of a top team as they continue to win even if they aren’t playing at their best. An unfortunate result for Lennon might also hamper his chances to take over the permanent role in the summer, so we expect his team to be up for the battle.
Where have Rangers fallen short this season?
In terms of quality, we would like to say that both teams are more or less on a similar level. Celtic have more match winners in their roster, and that has been the key difference this season. Another factor is Rangers’ consistency.
What to expect in the derby from Celtic
Celtic have a much-experienced squad than Rangers, and they would know what to expect at Ibrox. There is no doubt that Rangers are going to come off the blocks quickly and Celtic will have to weather the early storm and the press. The key for the Hoops would be not to make any loose passes in their own half. Celtic’s defenders and midfielders need to be on their toes in possession. Moving the ball quickly with precision is going to be key.
The Hoops will lineup in their typical 4-2-3-1 formation and a lot of onus would be on Scott Brown and Callum McGregor to get the likes of James Forrest, Tom Rogic and Kieran Tierney in the game in attacking areas. James Forrest might have to track back on occasions to help Lustig out against the tricky Ryan Kent.
What to expect from Rangers?
We are quite sure that Gerrard would have made his team watch Liverpool’s game against Barcelona as he would want something similar from his side in terms of work rate and pressing. Their win over Celtic in December also came on similar lines as the likes of Olivier Ntcham, Dedryck Boyata and Scott Brown who are generally comfortable on the ball were rattled by Rangers’ high press. Backed by the home crowd, Gerrard wouldn’t want to see the intensity die down even after the first 15-20 minutes so expect Rangers to be breathing down Celtic’s neck to check their first touch.
Gerrard has tinkered with his formation of late, and we expect him to play in a 4-2-3-1 with Davis down the right. The experienced midfielder will often drift inside, and James Tavernier will provide the width. We are also expecting Jermain Defoe to start up front even though Alfredo Morelos is now available. If the Gers are trailing or level around the hour mark, Gerrard can bring him on the pitch. For Rangers, Ryan Kent would be the key man. Gerrard would hope that his defenders don’t gift Celtic a goal or two like the last time around.
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