Match Preview: Rangers vs Celtic

It is time for the first Old Firm derby of the 2019-20 campaign, as Rangers host Celtic tomorrow at 13:00 (CET).

Rangers will welcome their cross-town rivals Celtic to the Ibrox Stadium for the first Old Firm derby this season.

It is shaping up to be the most competitive derby in the past few years, with both sides having recorded maximum points from their opening three Scottish Premiership fixtures.

The hosts will head into the game on the wings of a late 1-0 win against Legia Warsaw midweek, which was enough for them to book their place in the Europa League group stage.

Celtic also qualified for the competition, beating AIK 4-1 (6-1 on aggregate) in Stockholm on Thursday night.

Team news

Croatian left-back Borna Barisicis Steven Gerrard’s biggest injury concerns, after suffering a concussion in the Europa League qualifier against Legia Warsaw.

Sheyi Ojo and Alfredo Morelos should lead Rangers’ attack, while English legendary striker Jermaine Defoe will probably wait for his chance on the bench.

Celtic are without Hatem Elhamed and Tom Rogic, while Kristoffer Ajer could feature, despite limping off midweek against AIK.

Odsonne Edouard is expected to be fit for the Old Firm derby this weekend, after sustaining a cramp in Stockholm back on Thursday.

What did the managers say

Steven Gerrard says he was well aware of the pressure which the Old Firm derby brings when he signed to lead the Gers last year.

“We are all aware of that pressure and that’s going to be the same at Rangers for many, many years,” Gerrard said at a press conference.

Steven Gerrard, Rangers, Scottish Premier League

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“That’s always been the case, I knew that was going to be there when I signed up for it. These are the type of weeks that I wanted to be involved in from a personal point of view.

“You have to realize we are still in August and only three games into the season in the league. So from an Old Firm point of view, whatever happens in that fixture, there will still be tons and tons of football to play.”

Celtic boss Neil Lennon believes it will be another physical game, but his players are experienced enough to deal with the magnitude of the derby.

“Both teams are in good form and it’s always important, these games, psychologically more than anything else,” he said via the Telegraph.

“We haven’t played particularly well the last two times we’ve been there so we’ll have to remedy that if we’re going to get something out of the game. You expect a derby of this magnitude to be physical and competitive and this one will be no different.

“We’ve got players with experience of this game before so you need all that, physicality. We haven’t competed as well as we could’ve done two times last season so I think it’s important we get to the tempo of the game very, very quickly.”

Stats

Rangers have won two of their last three league meetings with Celtic (L1), they had only won two of the previous 16 before this (D3 L11).

Both of the wins came at the Ibrox last season, with Steven Gerrard having registered two wins in three Old Firm derbies as a manager of the Gers.

The last six meetings between the Glasgow rivals have finished with a win of the home side. Celtic back in March 2018 was the last side which won the Old Firm derby as visitors.

Rangers and Celtic faced each other 417 times across all domestic competitions, with the Gers noting 161 wins, compared to Celtic’s 157, 99 games have finished without a winner.

The last time Rangers won back-to-back games against the Celts was back in 2009 – they won the title that season.

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