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Scottish Premier League Preview: Rangers - Celtic

PROBABLE LINE-UPS
Rangers: McGregor; Whittaker, Bougherra, Weir, Papac; Naismith, Davis, Edu, Wylde; Lafferty, Jelavic.

Celtic: Forster; Wilson, Majstorovic, Mulgrew, Izaguirre; Brown, Ki, Kayal, Commons; Samaras, Hooper.
DID YOU KNOW?
  • Rangers manager Walter Smith will be taking part in his last Old Firm game in charge of the Ibrox side, before he steps down to be replaced by assistant Ally McCoist.
  • Victory for the Ibrox side will see it go four points clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League as it chases three titles in a row.
  • Rangers holds the advantage in Old Firm games played in the Scottish League, having won 117 times against its arch-rival, while the Parkhead side has won on 98 occasions, and 84 have been draws.
  • The last time Walter Smith announced that he was leaving Rangers he won his last Old Firm game that season, when Jonas Thern and Jorg Albertz scored at Ibrox on April 12, 1998.
  • The Ibrox side will be without Lee McCulloch, and possibly also missing Jamie Ness who went off injured against St Mirren.
  • Celtic will go into the last Old Firm game of the season without influential midfielder Joe Ledley, who departed the Scottish Cup semifinal victory over Aberdeen injured on Sunday.
  • A victory over the Ibrox side will see Celtic go top of the Scottish Premier League as it looks to claim the first title in manager Neil Lennon’s reign.
  • This will be an opportunity for the Parkhead side to gain a level of revenge, after losing out on the Scottish League Cup during its last Old Firm fixture at Hampden, when an extra-time goal from Nikica Jelavic handed Rangers the trophy.
  • Celtic will be looking to claim its fourth Old Firm victory of the season, two of which have come in the SPL this season.
  • This will be the seventh Old Firm fixture of the season, with two having taken place in the Scottish Cup and one in the League Cup.
LAST MEETING



March 20, 2011: Celtic 1-2 Rangers (aet)


An extra-time winner by Nikica Jelavic secured the League Cup for Rangers after both Steven Davis and Joe Ledley had scored to send the game beyond the 90 minutes.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Rangers - Nikica Jelavic

The Croatian has managed to fill the boots of Kenny Miller, who left Ibrox in January, to become the main frontman for the Scottish champions, and he will now be called upon to see Rangers through to its third title in a row.

Celtic - Kris Commons

The former Derby midfielder has been a revelation since his January move to Parkhead and the Scottish international will be looking to continue his scoring streak that sees him currently on nine goals.

PREDICTION

With the two sides neck-and-neck at the top of the Scottish Premier League, they will be more interested in not losing, so that it doesn’t blow their title chances.

Rangers 0-0 Celtic
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