Rangers host Celtic at Ibrox in the final Old Firm derby of the season, with Steven Gerrard’s men intent on showing that they can be a threat to the Hoops’ dominance next term.
Last weekend, Celtic secured their eighth Scottish Premiership title in succession thanks to a fine performance in defeating Aberdeen 3-0 at Pittodrie, pushing themselves out of Rangers’ reach before they overcame Hibs 1-0 a day later.
The Gers, though, are aiming to repeat the success they enjoyed in the derby shortly before New Year, when they claimed a 1-0 win at Ibrox, thereby cutting the gap at the top of the table and fuelling their belief that they could go on to win the title next season.
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|Game||Rangers vs Celtic|
|Date||Sunday, May 12|
|Time||12:00pm BST / 7:00am ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be streamed live on B/R Live.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will be broadcast on Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event. It can be streamed via Sky Go Extra.
|UK TV channel||Online |
|Sky Go Extra|
Squads & Team News
|Defenders||Tavernier, Flanagan, McCrorie, Katic, Barisic, Worrall, Goldson, Polster|
|Midfielders||Jack, Halliday, Coulibaly, Arfield, Davis, Kamara|
|Forwards||Candeias, Morelos, Lafferty, Middleton, Defoe, Kent, Morelos|
Rangers starting XI: Foderingham; Tavernier, Goldson, Katic, Flanagan; Kamara, Jack, Davis; Arfield, Defoe, Kent
|Goalkeepers||Bain, De Vries|
|Defenders||Toljan, Izaguirre, Gamboa, Boyata, Lustig, Benkovic, Ajer, E. Henderson, Tierney, Simunovic|
|Midfielders||Bitton, Brown, Sinclair, Hayes, Morgan, Burke, Ntcham, McGregor, Forrest, Rogic|
Celtic starting XI: Bain; Lustig, Simunovic, Ajer, Hayes; Brown, McGregor; Rogic, Burke, Johnston; Edouard
Betting & Match Odds
Celtic are 11/8 favourites according to bet365 . Rangers are priced at 2/1, while a draw is priced at 9/4.
It’s been an emotional week for Rangers manager Steven Gerrard, who confirmed that he had to leave Liverpool’s incredible Champions League comeback against Barcelona prematurely because he was so overcome with excitement.
“The nerves on Tuesday night at Anfield for myself personally were difficult to control,” he admitted. “I had to leave at 4-0 even though I had my seven-year-old daughter. I used that as an excuse but it was more the nerves so God help the players with what they were going through.”
Sunday’s derby match is unlikely to provide him a chance to calm down as these affairs are notoriously fraught, and even though there is no longer anything tangible left to play for, the Gers would dearly love to overcome Celtic for a second time this season.
The Hoops’ 3-0 win against Aberdeen last weekend ensured they secured the title, but there will be no guard of honour from their hosts at Ibrox, which has caused quite a stir.
“The club have made a decision on that and decided there won't be a guard of honour, so my thoughts are irrelevant,” Gerrard said. “I will follow what I'm told to do by the people in charge of the club.”
The ex-Liverpool man, though, has not been happy with his team’s level of performance on the whole this season and has pointed the finger towards a lack of discipline.
Following last weekend’s 1-0 win over Hibs, in which Allan McGregor was sent off for kicking out at Marc McNulty, he said, “Winning when you don't play well is a good sign in the big picture. But if you sum up the whole 90 minutes, I think that's the reason why we haven't been more competitive for the main prizes this year.
“The performance over the 90 minutes was average at best. And a lack of discipline - not just in the individual case but across the season - has hurt us a lot as well. That's the reason why we're not in the running for a cup or the league.
“I'm not sure the exact number - I think it's around nine red cards - but it's not acceptable.”
Celtic counterpart Neil Lennon, meanwhile, is content with the job he has done since arriving in Parkhead earlier this year following the shock departure of Brendan Rodgers to Leicester.
“On the outside it probably looks easy but on the inside there was a lot of discontent and agitation around the club at the time. You had to keep calm,” he said.
“I'm here to do a job and I've done it. I didn't ask for the job - I got asked to do it short term. I am pleased with my staff for helping me through it.”
Lennon’s personal case for taking on the role on a long-term basis for a second time could only be enhanced by victory on Sunday and completion of the treble-treble when his side play Hearts in the Scottish Cup final in a fortnight.
“The fans are talking about nine and 10-in-a-row, but let's enjoy eight first,” he added.
Rangers’ aim on Sunday is to make their neighbours start doubting.