High-flying Celtic are marching towards reclaiming the Scottish crown after losing it to Rangers last season. These two bitter rivals would lock horns on Sunday afternoon, and the Hoops, who already have a three-point cushion at the top of the Premiership standings, should aim for a result on the road to be a step closer to the silverware.
Meanwhile, it’s a must-win game for the Gers to stay in the race. The Ibrox crowd would make the tie difficult for the league leaders, but the hosts, too, must improve their display to match Celtic’s level in this electrifying encounter. The Bhoys won 3-0 earlier this year and Rangers, therefore, have a mountain to climb in the Celtic showdown.
Predicted 4-3-3 Celtic Lineup To Face Rangers
Joe Hart has cemented his place between the sticks after a few difficult years back in his homeland. The former England international must showcase his mastery once more to frustrate the hosts on Sunday lunchtime.
Josip Juranovic is likely to get the nod over Anthony Ralston for his balance and discipline down the right, whereas Greg Taylor should continue as the left fullback after impressing in their previous meeting. Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt are the preferred central defensive pairing, but a groin injury to Stephen Welsh leaves them with Christopher Jullien as the only other centre-back option. Nir Bitton might slot in deep defence as a makeshift if the situation demands.
Skipper Callum McGregor is an assured starter given his vision and composure as a deep-lying playmaker. But the gaffer Ange Postecoglou would face a selection dilemma with Tom Rogic, Reo Hatate, Matt O’Riley and fit-again David Turnbull all contesting for the two ‘number 8’ slots. While the latter should not be rushed following his long injury layoff, a brace at Parkhead two months ago must have earned Hatate a first-team status for the upcoming derby. O’Riley has been excellent so far since his winter move from MK Dons. But the manager might opt for Tom Rogic’s experience and creative spark as a box-to-box midfielder.
Although Kyogo Furuhashi is back in training, Postecoglou must not repeat the same mistake he made last time by aggravating his injury. Giorgos Giakoumakis is scoring for fun after a difficult start to life in new surroundings, and the Greek centre-forward is expected to be accompanied by Liel Abada and Filipe Jota from the flanks, similar to their February meeting. James Forrest and Daizen Maeda are there to offer more firepower in the attacking third as second-half substitutes.