MX23RW : Friday, June 18 21:36:37| >> :120:19893:19893:
Oct 17, 2020 at 12.30pm UK at Celtic Park
CelticCeltic
0-2
RangersRangers

Brown (62'), Duffy (85')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Goldson (9', 54')
Arfield (60'), Morelos (85')

Preview: Celtic vs. Rangers - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Old Firm derby between Celtic and Rangers, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Rangers make the trip to Celtic Park this Saturday lunchtime, where they will face their city rivals for the 421st time, with the hope of extending their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership to four points.

Celtic have won all bar two of their fixtures in all competitions this campaign and have kept clean sheets in their last four matches.


Match preview

Celtic manager Neil Lennon pictured on September 27, 2020© Reuters

Both Glaswegian sides have barely put a foot wrong in the early stages of their 2020-21 campaigns, with the two clubs currently unbeaten, winning eight of their opening Scottish Premiership matches and drawing their remaining fixtures.

Celtic have put together a string of impressive results leading into the Old Firm derby, which has seen the Hoops win their last eight matches in all competitions, something that manager Neil Lennon is delighted about.

Their most recent victory came at St Johnstone, where two stoppage-time strikes from Leigh Griffiths and Patryk Klimala saw Lennon's side leave it late to claim a 2-0 win.

Lennon admitted that his side were "too passive in the first half", something that he does not want to see repeated this weekend against Rangers.

Despite Lennon's delight for Celtic's recent run of form, one problem for him is the number of absentees missing from his squad due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lennon however remains optimistic heading into the match and is well aware that their rivals may also have several players absent for this weekend's clash.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard pictured on September 24, 2020© Reuters

Steven Gerrard's side have had a brilliant start to their campaign and have proven that they are a tough team to break down, having only conceded three goals from their opening 10 Scottish Premiership matches.

Rangers currently sit top of the table with 26 points from a possible 30 available and head into the Old Firm derby off the back of four straight wins, including an impressive 2-1 triumph over Galatasaray, which confirmed their place in this season's Europa League.

Spirits are high in the Rangers camp and Gerrard will be hoping to use their momentum to repeat the result of last season's outing at Celtic Park, where they beat their arch rivals 2-1.

Celtic do have a game in hand on The Gers and so will be aware that a defeat should not be too costly at such an early stage. However, like all derbies the Hoops will be desperate to come out victorious and a win would see Lennon's side leapfrog Rangers to the top of the table.

Celtic Scottish Premiership form: WWWWWW
Celtic form (all competitions): WWWWWW

Rangers Scottish Premiership form: WWWDWW
Rangers form (all competitions): WDWWWW


Team News

Rangers' James Tavernier celebrates scoring against Galatasaray in the Europa League on October 1, 2020© Reuters

After completing his self-isolation protocols, striker Odsonne Edouard could return to the Celtic starting XI despite contracting coronavirus whilst on international duty with France Under-21s.

Full-back Hatem Abd Elhamed, as well as midfielders Nir Bitton and Ryan Christie, are all self-isolating and will be unavailable due to coronavirus protocols.

James Forrest remains sidelined with an ankle injury, however Celtic's top goalscorer Albian Ajeti could return after missing the last two matches through injury.

Scott Brown is set to captain the side in the Old Firm derby, 13 years after making his derby bow for the Hoops back in 2007.

Goalkeeper Allan McGregor, central defender Filip Helander, midfielder Joe Aribo and striker Kemar Roofe are all doubts for the match.

Alfredo Morelos's late return from international duty with Colombia could also see him miss out.

Jermain Defoe could be in line to start up front for The Gers, as could summer signing Cedric Itten.

Captain James Tavernier, who has scored four goals in his last three matches, will start once again at right-back.

Glen Kamara is set to remain in the starting XI after starring for Finland during the international break.

Celtic possible starting lineup:
Barkas; Jullien, Duffy, Ajer; Frimpong, Ntcham, Brown, McGregor, Taylor; Elyounoussi, Ajeti

Rangers possible starting lineup:
McLaughlin; Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Barisic; Kamara, Jack, Davis; Hagi, Kent; Defoe


SM words green background

We say: Celtic 1-1 Rangers

Both sides have been strong defensively so far this campaign and a goal fest is not expected. With both sides missing players, this could level the playing field and see The Gers take points away from Celtic Park from successive visits in what would be the 100th Old Firm derby draw.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard pictured in August 2020
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Aberdeen00000000
2Celtic00000000
3Dundee00000000
4Dundee UnitedDundee Utd00000000
5Hearts00000000
6Hibernian00000000
7Livingston00000000
8Motherwell00000000
9RangersRangers00000000
10Ross County00000000
11St Johnstone00000000
12St Mirren00000000

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