Despite being in the driver’s seat, Celtic must not understate Rangers’ resurgence under Michael Beale. The Hoops have dominated the Old Firm clashes all throughout the season, but they might find it tricky on Saturday lunchtime when the Gers would go at full throttle to secure all three points at Celtic Park.
It’s a must-win game for the Light Blues who are nine points behind their bitter rivals in the Premiership standings. The Celts are chasing a ‘domestic treble’, but the Glasgow Rangers could still spoil their party by winning the upcoming derbies across competitions. Although they suffered a 4-0 humiliation at Parkhead earlier this campaign, the managerial alternation has worked so far irrespective of the League Cup final defeat just over a month ago.
Celtic vs Rangers: Talking Tactics
The 4-3-3 formation has earned Ange Postecoglou instant success in Scottish football. His free-flowing passing game along with swift attacking transitions from defence might once again cause menace in Rangers midfield. The lack of pace in the centre of the pitch could be a problem for Beale’s army.
Beale has tweaked the set-up to a 4-3-1-2 at times in recent fixtures, but he should stick with a 4-2-3-1 that offers more balance and composure. Having said that, the formation must not promote a defensive approach, particularly after a lacklustre performance at Hampden Park.
Greg Taylor and Aaron Mooy have shaken off knocks ahead of the weekend tie. But the Bhoys would be without Reo Hatate, Liel Abada and James Forrest who are yet to recover from their respective injury woes.
Celtic Predicted XI
Hart; Johnston, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Taylor; McGregor, Mooy, O’Riley; Jota, Maeda, Furuhashi
Nicolas Raskin is now expected to be available for this high-profile battle after fitness doubts over the past few days. The likes of Filip Helander, Steven Davis and Kemar Roofe are the long-term absentees and are unlikely to feature again this season.
Rangers Predicted XI
McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Davies, Barisic; Raskin, Kamara; Cantwell, Tillman, Kent; Morelos.
Skipper James Tavernier must lead by example with his marauding runs, crosses, set-piece expertise and attacking attributes. Todd Cantwell has been promising of late, also, the on-loan Bayern Munich sensation Malik Tillman could make a difference with his flair and creative spark as a ‘number 10’.
Kyogo Furuhashi has slayed the Gers time and again while spearheading the attack, and the swift skills and work rate of Jota and Daizen Maeda could keep the visitors on their toes down the flanks. The experience of Mooy and skipper Callum McGregor should see the hosts pulling the strings from the middle of the park.
Rangers vs Celtic: Streaming Links
|United Kingdom||Sky Sports|