Kick-off: 1200, 02/09/2018
Stadium: Celtic Park
TV: Sky Sports
Former Liverpool colleagues Brendan Rodgers and Steven Gerrard will face off as managers when Celtic host Rangers in this season’s first Old Firm derby on Sunday.
Gerrard has brought a new steely determination to Gers since taking charge, but it is hard to ignore how the Hoops have dominated this rivalry in recent years.
Celtic have won nine and drawn the other two of 11 meetings over the past couple of campaigns, including 5-0 and 4-0 triumphs in the last two encounters in April.
The gulf in class has closed but we’re still on the Bhoys to win to nil at 2/1 as our opening Celtic vs Rangers prediction.
A Look At Celtic’s Betting Odds
Celtic have made a stuttering start to the new Scottish Premiership season but can be forgiven for being distracted by their European exploits.
A 1-0 loss at Hearts came in between two tough Champions League clashes against AEK Athens, with the Hoops failing to qualify for the group stage of that competition.
Last weekend’s 1-0 triumph over Hamilton was a step back in the right direction, especially with defender Dedryck Boyata netting after putting aside persistent transfer speculation.
Rodgers will hardly be sidetracked by Thursday’s Europa League play-off versus FK Suduva, so we’re now expecting a focused and disciplined display in this titanic tussle.
On clashing with Gerrard, the Northern Irishman commented: “There is no doubt Steven has made a difference to them and made a change to them, a positive change.
“No matter the form, they are always tough games, though, so our notion after Thursday will be to focus on that and be ready for it.”
A Look At Rangers’ Betting Odds
Rangers shared the spoils in a six-goal thriller at Motherwell last weekend, but building from the back appears to be Gerrard’s mantra judged on the overall early evidence of his reign.
Goalkeeper Allan McGregor, plus defenders Connor Goldson, Borna Barisic and Jon Flanagan have all done a good job in tightening things up since arriving over the summer.
However, the fear is that the Gers still lack the attacking firepower to knock Celtic off their perch, even with Alfredo Morelos and new recruit Kyle Lafferty in decent form of late.
The Light Blues must also overcome a 4,600-mile round-trip to Russia to face Ufa in the Europa League, so this may be the time to take them on.
We reckon it could be tight for a while but that travelling may take a toll later on, so let’s add 17/5 for a draw at half-time and then the Hoops to win to our Celtic vs Rangers betting tips.
Last SPL result:
CELTIC 1-0 Hamilton – Dedryck Boyata
Motherwell 3-3 RANGERS – Kyle Lafferty (2), Ovie Ejaria
Head-to-head: Celtic 5-0 Rangers, Celtic 4-0 Rangers, Rangers 2-3 Celtic, Celtic 0-0 Rangers, Rangers 0-2 Celtic
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