Rangers v Celtic | Match Preview
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Rangers v Celtic | Match Preview

03/04/24 22:31

The third Old Firm Derby of the season takes place on Sunday as Rangers host Celtic at Ibrox in what will be a decisive game in the Scottish Premiership title race.

Just one point separates the two sides at the moment meaning picking up three points in this match will be more important than ever for both sides.

So far this season the hosts, Rangers, have picked up 73 points from 30 games. Having played one less game than their city rivals ahead of them. A win in this game will take them to the top of the table, but also give them the opportunity to go five points clear when they play Dundee on Wednesday in their game in hand.

Celtic are the team on top at the moment though. 74 points from 31 games - Brendan Rodgers’ return to the club following the departure of Ange Postecoglu in the summer is going well so far. But with Rangers right on their tail it will be very important that they win this one. Especially with Rangers’ one game in hand.

Rangers v Celtic Stats

As mentioned, the two sides are separated by just a point as it stands. If it comes down to it Celtic currently have the advantage when it comes to goal difference with a +51 GD to Rangers +50.

The Gers have scored 67 goals so far this season but the key to their success has been their strong defence this year having conceded just 17 goals all season. Former Manchester United and England International Jack Butland has earned himself 17 clean sheets so far this campaign - more than any other goalkeeper in the league.

Jack Butland

On the other hand, the secret behind Celtic’s success has been the amount of goals they have scored. An impressive 74 goals this season - seven more than Rangers have managed to achieve.

In terms of head to heads, this is one of the biggest rivalries in all of football with the two teams having met each other around 438 times in their histories. Overall, Rangers have come out with the most wins in the derby with 169 wins to their name. Celtic winning 167 and only 102 draws being played out.

However, in more recent history Celtic have been favoured. They have won four of the last five encounters between the two clubs with Rangers’ last win coming at the end of last season. A 3-0 win thanks to goals from Todd Cantwell, John Souttar and Fashion Sakala.

Most recently it was of course Celtic that came away with the win though. The hoops winning 2-1 back in December with Paulo Bernardo and Kyogo Furuhashi scoring to see off 10 man Rangers. This recent run of victories will mean Celtic come into this one very confident.

Rangers v Celtic Players to Watch

Rangers captain James Tavernier is having one hell of a season. Last week he became the highest scoring defender in the UK ever having scored his 131st career goal against Hibernian. That goal also took his tally for the season to an incredible 15 goals putting him second in the top scorers charts. Only behind Hearts striker Lawrence Shankland.

Also be sure to keep an eye on Jack Butland who, as previously discussed, is having a fantastic season and will be looking to add to his clean sheet tally.

Alternatively, Celtic’s Matt O’Riley has had a very impressive season in the heart of their midfield. He stands as their current highest scorer for the season with 12 goals to his name and has proven to be a key member of Rodgers’ squad this season.

Kyogo Furuhashi could also prove to be key with his impressive record in the derby speaking for itself. He’s managed seven goals in his previous six games against Rangers and will surely look to strike again in this one.

Kyogo Furuhashi

Rangers v Celtic Injury News

Both sides have faced a lot of injuries this season but it is looking as though that poor luck is beginning to turn around.

Phillipe Clement’s side could see returns for Abdallah Sima, Kemar Roofe, Cyriel Dessers and Fabio Silva giving them plenty of attacking options heading into this game.

And with Todd Cantwell now back fully fit also, having returned against Benfica and starting the game against Hibs on the weekend, Rangers look as though they are set up to dominate the game.

Celtic also have key players returning. Luis Palma looks set to come back into the eleven after some time on the sidelines. But, most importantly for them, captain Callum McGregor looks incredibly likely to be reintroduced into the starting squad having recently returned to training.

Rangers v Celtic Where To Watch

The Old Firm derby gets underway at 12pm on Sunday 7th April.

The game will be available to watch live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football with coverage starting at 11am from Ibrox.

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