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Just Another Day: A Rangers-Celtic Preview

Rangers v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership
Mikael Lustig celebrates making it 5-1 on our last visit to Ibrox in April
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images


Celtic return to league duty as we aim to go eight points clear of our once great rivals in the Premiership ‘title race’.

Team Selection: The only thing you can say for definite about the team that Brendan Rodgers will pick for Ibrox is that Craig Gordon will be in goal. With both Dedryck Boyata and Jozo Simunovic back in the squad, will the manager play those two at the back in the partnership that was established last season? Or will the formation change to three at the back.

In midfield, the in-form James Forrest seems certain to start...or will the mercurial Patrick Roberts be involved? Tom Rogic and Callum McGregor look to be certain starters for this game, but can the £4 million man Olivier Ntcham be left out of what will be one of the few big domestic games of the season, and Stuart Armstrong, who was excellent against Rangers last season may also be in the manager’s thinking.

And up-front, will Moussa Demeble get the nod over Leigh Griffiths, or will the manager play both of them? Add to this the Anderlecht game being only five days after the Rangers game, then Brendan Rodgers has a lot of decisions to make. It does seem to be the strongest Celtic squad in years, and this could well be in evidence over the next two games.

Previous Meetings: Let’s look back to our two visits to Ibrox last season. On Hogmanay, goals from Moussa Dembele and Scott Sinclair gave Celtic a come from behind 2-1 victory, in a game which we really should have won by a far greater margin, as in the second half we conspired to miss a host of chances.

Then on a memorable day in April we recorded our biggest ever league victory at Ibrox with a 5-1 demolition, the highlight of the game quite possibly Mikael Lustig’s mazy run and shot for Celtic’s fifth goal, although the entire game was memorable.

Prediction: I doubt that Celtic will be as emphatically triumphant tomorrow as we were on our last visit to Ibrox but let’s be real here: we are a far better team than Rangers and if we play to the best of our abilities then we should have a comfortable victory.

Rangers 1 Celtic 3