Rangers vs Celtic preview

December 30, 2016
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

The new edition of the Old Firm derby will have no effect on the Scottish Premier League title chase considering that Celtic are already 16 points clear at the top.

However, it goes without saying that Rangers will give their best to win the game and get revenge on bitter rivals for earlier defeats in SPL and League Cup.

After spending several years in the lower divisions, Gers finally returned to the top flight in the summer, and they have done pretty well so far considering the circumstances.

While it is now clear that Rangers will not be able to mount a serious title challenge, they currently sit in front of Aberdeen and Hearts in the overall standings.

Team’s four-match winning run came to an end in midweek as they were held to a 1-1 draw by St Johnstone, and the Old Firm derby will be their final game of the year.

Having gone 15 months without losing at Ibrox, Rangers have reason for optimism, although it has to be noted that they lost both fixtures against Celtic this season.

Manager Mark Warburton faces a genuine defensive headache considering that captain Lee Wallace and veteran Clint Hill are both rated doubtful.

Gers will attempt to end the first part of the season on a high and they can be backed at 4.80 (19/5) to succeed in their quest.

Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Foderingham – Tavernier, Kiernan, Hill, Wilson – Windass, Holt, Halliday – Miller, Garner, McKay.

Celtic have had it quite easy over the last few years since Rangers were relegated to League Two, but they have to start getting serious as Gers, Hearts and Aberdeen hope to close the gap behind them.

The Bhoys have all but secured another SPL trophy thanks to the outstanding start to the season that saw them win 18 of first 19 league fixtures (D1).

Celtic have been absolutely brilliant over the last few months, winning 14 successive Scottish Premier League fixtures and they will want to extend the amazing run this weekend.

One of the reasons why the Bhoys have done so well this season is the countless number of goals from midfield, as Stuart Armstrong, Tom Rogic, Scott Sinclair and Jamie Forrest have helped Moussa Dembele and Leigh Griffiths terrorise opposition defences.

Celtic have now been made 1.75 (3/4) favourites to make it 15 SPL triumphs on the trot, and they do look a good bet to make it happen.

Moussa Dembele should be preferred to Leigh Griffiths up front, but Tom Rogic is out with an ankle problem, although Callum McGregor returns.

Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Gordon – Gamboa, Lustig, Sviatchenko, Izaguirre – Brown, Armstrong – Forrest, McGregor, Sinclair – Dembele.

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