One of British football’s fiercest rivalries will be renewed for a sixth time this season as Rangers host Celtic at Ibrox in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday afternoon.
The Hoops wrapped up a sixth successive Scottish title with a thumping 5-0 win against Heart of Midlothian at the beginning of this month, but Brendan Rodgers’ side have history in their sights as they travel across Glasgow to face Pedro Caixinha’s charges this weekend.
Celtic secured their place in next month’s Scottish Cup final with a 2-0 win against the ‘Gers at Hampden Park last weekend – their 41st consecutive match without defeat in domestic competition this season – and, as a consequence, the Hoops are dreaming of their first domestic treble in 16 years, having won the League Cup final against Aberdeen back in November.
Rodgers’ side have been utterly dominant north of the border so far this season, dropping just eight points in their 33 league matches so far, while the Hoops have a 33 point advantage over Rangers at the top of the table ahead of Saturday’s showdown; an away win can be backed at just 4/6 (1.67) with Paddy Power.
Rangers, though, will be playing for pride when these rivals meet, for the ‘Gers would dearly love to be the first Scottish side to beat Rodgers’ men this season, while the team from Govan will feel that they owe their supporters a big result, having been beaten in four of the previous five meetings between the teams thus far this term.
Celtic have scored 11 goals in five games against Rangers so far this season, conceding just three, and the Scottish champions will certainly fancy their chances of getting amongst the goals again here, for the Hoops have found the net in every domestic match that they have played so far this season – Paddy Power go 4/6 (1.67) that the Hoops score two or more goals at Ibrox.
Moussa Dembele is expected to miss out, having suffered a hamstring injury last weekend, but the Hoops are far from reliant on the former Fulham man to provide them with a spark in the final third; former Aston Villa star Scott Sinclair has enjoyed a superb debut season in Scotland, scoring 24 goals thus far this term, including the winning goal when Celtic last visited Ibrox.
The Hoops will take some stopping as they look to complete the league season without tasting defeat and punters may be tempted to back them at 4/6 (1.67) to take all three points.
Better value, however, could lie in backing Celtic (-1) in the handicap market at 15/8 (2.88) - the selection would have seen punters profit from last week’s Scottish Cup semi-final between the rivals and, given the gulf between the teams, there is a chance that the Hoops could enjoy another comfortable win this weekend.
|Celtic (-1) at 15/8 (2.88) for a 2pt stake with Paddy Power|