Celtic are preparing for a highly-anticipated Old Firm derby against Rangers in great shape and with great desire to record the fourth consecutive win over their bitter rivals this season.
Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic is enjoying a remarkable unbeaten run this season which currently stretches to 28 consecutive matches and as the Celts look to go through the entire season without a defeat, their Old Firm rivals are there to argue. Celtic, however, are utterly dominant in the Scottish Premiership this season as they boast a 27-point lead in front of the second-placed Aberdeen, whereas Rangers are sitting 33 points behind their great rivals and Celtic are already running with the league title in their hands as things stand right now. The forthcoming Old Firm clash will be a warmup for the Scottish Cup semifinal and the Sunday’s match carries much more than just bragging rights as whoever emerges victorious will take a psychological advantage into that next clash.
Brendan Rodgers will be happy to welcome Patrick Roberts back in the squad, with Gary Mackay-Steven expected to make way in the starting line-up. No other changes to the team are expected.
No manager and no plan in sight
Rangers have gone through a difficult period over the past couple of years and the club deserves plenty of praise for mustering enough strength to get back to the Premiership in the first place. However, they quickly found out they haven’t got what it takes to be fighting with the big boys as they have dropped 33 points behind the league leaders Celtic in the table. With Graeme Murty as the caretaker manager Rangers have been rather inconsistent as the club keeps waiting for Pedro Caixinha to take over at Ibrox. As Rangers prepare for a trip to Celtic Park, Murty will have to create a sound plan that could help Rangers avoid the fourth consecutive defeat by Celtic. Last time they came to town, Rangers were treated with five in the back of the net and they are expected to adopt a defensive approach in attempt to sit deep in behind looking for a potential crack and a chance to get ahead of Celtic’s pace, which will be a difficult task.
Ranger travel to Celtic Park without Rob Kiernan who was sent off against St Johnstone, whereas Danny Wilson is likely to be recalled to the centre of defence alongside Clint Hill.
The universal opinion is that Celtic are overwhelming favourites and that Rangers are coming to town to take a beating and this conclusion is not too far away from the truth. There is too big a difference in quality, pace and power between once great rivals and we have no doubt that hosts will run away with easy three points on Sunday.
Top pick: Celtic/Celtic 2.10 (11/10) @Coral
Alternative pick 1: Over 3.5 goals 2.70 (17/10) @BetVictor
Alternative pick 2: Celtic -1.5 Asian handicap 2.08 (43/40) @Bet365