Saturday is the time of reckoning for Rangers. After a sluggish start to the season, they find themselves up against Old Firm rivals Celtic for the first time this term.
Last year there was an incredible 39-point gap between the clubs by May, and the job of this new crop is to ensure that is reduced.
Their task will be a hard one, though, with the Hoops already five marks clear of them in the Scottish Premiership standings.
|Game||Rangers vs Celtic|
|Date||Saturday, September 23|
|Time||12:00 BST / 07:00 ET|
TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM
In the UK, the match will be available to watch live on television on Sky Sports Football and by via online stream using the Sky Go app.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|Sky Sports Football||Sky Go|
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|N/A||Celtic TV / Rangers TV|
SQUAD & TEAM NEWS
|Goalkeepers||Foderingham, Alnwick, Kelly|
|Defenders||Wallace, Wilson, Tavernier, Bates, Hodson, John, Alves, Cardoso|
|Midfielders||Holt, Dorrans, Dalcio, Jack, Kranjcar, Pena, Rossiter, Windass|
|Forwards||Miller, Herrera, Morelos, Nemane, Candeias|
Lee Wallace has been ruled out of this encounter for the home side, while there are fears that Declan John will follow after sustaining a midweek blow against Partick Thistle. Experienced Portugal international Bruno Alves is a further worry for Pedro Caixinha ahead of this match.
Elsewhere in the side, Niko Krancjar and Jordan Rossiter have already been ruled out.
Alfredo Morelos will spearhead the attack after scoring nine times in his last seven matches.
Potential starting XI: Foderingham; Tavernier, Cardoso, Alves, John; Jack, Pena; Candeias, Dorrans, Windass; Morelos
|Goalkeepers||Gordon, De Vries, Hazard|
|Defenders||Simunovic, Tierney, Lustig, Ajer, Ralston, Gamboa, Duffy, McCart, McInroy, Welsh, Bell|
|Midfielders||Brown, Sinclair, Armstrong, Hayes, Ntcham, Benyu, McGregor, Forrest, Henderson, Kouassi, Rogic, Bitton, McLaughlin, Hill, Hendry|
|Forwards||Griffiths, Miller, Aitchison, Dembele, Edouard, Roberts, Watson, Johnston|
The central defensive crisis that Celtic faced early in the season has eased, with Dedryck Boyata returning to action in midweek against Dundee in the League Cup. However, there are still concerns over Jozo Simunovic, though he should be cleared fit to feature. Erik Sviatchenko and Eboue Kouassi are both on the sidelines still.
In attack, meanwhile, Mousse Dembele is hopeful of being involved, while Leigh Griffiths will shake off a midweek knock to play.
Rodgers has often deployed his side in a 3-4-3 system in domestic matches this term and it would be a sign of real intent on his part if he was to maintain that system as opposed to the 4-2-3-1 he typically uses in Europe.
Potential starting XI: Gordon; Lustig, Simunovic, Bitton, Tierney; Brown, Ntcham; Roberts, Rogic, Sinclair; Griffiths
BETTING & MATCH ODDS
Celtic are 8/11 favourites to win this match, according to dabblebet, with odds of 10/3 attached to a Rangers victory. A draw at Ibrox is considered a 3/1 bet.
Alfredo Morelos is the home side's likeliest marksman, according to the betting markets, with a price of 13/2 to score first. Celtic's Leigh Griffiths and Moussa Dembele are both priced at 14/5 to hit first in the match.
Celtic are seeking to reaffirm their dominance over Rangers, having repeatedly wounded their Glasgow rivals last season. Indeed, when the sides met in April and the Hoops ran out 5-1 winners, it was the biggest victory they had ever achieved against their neighbours at Ibrox, which was constructed in 1899.
For Pedro Caixinha, closing the gulf between the clubs is the main thrust of his work this season, and while he talked boldly about a title challenge in the summer, that prospect already looks a distant one. His Rangers side have already slipped up at home this season, when they lost against Hibs, while successive draws in 90 minutes against Partick Thistle in the Premiership and then League Cup (in which they eventually won 3-1 after extra time), show that his team are still at least a level behind the Bhoys.
In Alfredo Morelos, they boast a potent goalscoring forward. The young Colombian has six goals for the campaign, more than anyone else in the Premiership, so Brendan Rodgers is well aware of the threat carried by the Gers.
However, it has been a remarkable 56 matches since Celtic last lost a domestic fixture, with their record under the former Liverpool boss unblemished. The closest anyone has got to upsetting them domestically this season was a 1-1 draw against St Johnstone at home.
In usual circumstances, their most important match of the week would be Wednesday's trip to Belgium to tackle Anderlecht, but the Old Firm game certainly does not represent any usual match and Celtic will be going all out to inflict another bloody nose upon Rangers, effectively wiping out their title challenge before it has even begun.