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Rangers v Celtic
Sunday, 12:00
Live on Sky Sports

Back with a bang

The Scottish Premiership is back with a bang as we return from the international break with an Old Firm Derby played at Ibrox on Sunday. It’s the champions versus the league leaders as Rangers aim to make their home advantage count and secure a vital win. Three points is needed to draw level with Celtic at the top of the Premiership, but the Bhoys will be reluctant to concede ground.

This is the third Old Firm Derby of the season, and the stats are poised at one win each, with the team playing at home taking the points so far. Sunday will also be the first time we’ve seen Celtic fans back inside Ibrox in two seasons. Only a few hundred in green and white have bagged tickets, but they’ll make themselves heard.

Gers learned their lesson

Rangers fans were left in a state of shock after watching Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s first Old Firm Derby as manager end in disaster. The Hoops ran riot at Celtic Park back in February, winning 3-0 after taking their foot off the gas in the second half. GvB and many of his players were taught a lesson that day by their title rivals, but it’s one they have learned.

Since that heart-breaking defeat across the city, Rangers have blazed a trail of glory to the quarter-finals of the Europa League, eliminating Borussia Dortmund and Red Star Belgrade in the knockout stages. They have also reached the semi-final of the Scottish Cup and are within three points of league leaders Celtic, having taken nine points from their last three games.

There are no notable injuries for the hosts. Still, they will give star striker Alfredo Morelos every chance to pass himself fit after being sent home from international duty with Colombia with a thigh strain. Aaron Ramsey returned from Wales duty in good shape and will be eager to sample the Old Firm atmosphere.

Celts are in control

The Celtic story under Ange Postecoglou so far has been an entertaining one filled with highs and lows. They have already won the League Cup, are through to the last four of the Scottish Cup and sit top of the Premiership. Celtic have a three-point, and 14-goal advantage over Rangers, so will likely finish the week in pole position.

Despite those positives, the Hoops were dumped out of three European competitions in one season, eliminated from the UEFA Champions League, Europa League, and Europa Conference League. That’s something the coaching staff will want to remedy, but with the league winners going straight into the group stages of the Champions League, there’s an extra emphasis on wrestling the trophy back from Rangers.

Like their opponents, Celtic have won their last three league games and bring a clean bill of health with no notable absences from the team that hammered Ross County 4-0 at Parkhead last time.

Home win favourite

All the pressure is on Rangers ahead of this match. Giovanni got his tactics wrong at Celtic Park and must make amends for that. Too many players were shaken by the atmosphere and chose to hide rather than stand up to the derby heat. Anything less than three points for the home side hands the advantage to Celtic in the title race.

Backed by a capacity crowd and fresh from an international break, Rangers will blow the title race wide open by claiming three points. Back Rangers at 2.427/5 on the Betfair Exchange. The draw can be had at 3.45 with victory for Celtic trading at 3.052/1.

One team has failed to find the net in each of the two derbies played this season. Take no in the both teams to score market at 2.111/10. Under 2.5 goals is 1.910/11 with over the same mark 1.9720/21.

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