Celtic v Rangers Betting Tips & Predictions – Sunday 29th December 2019

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Previous Match Tips

Ever since Rangers found themselves demoted to the Scottish Third Division in 2012, Celtic have been able to cruise, largely unchallenged, to seven successive league titles, meaning they have now won eight in a row. Could their comfortable position as top dogs of Scottish football be under threat though with Rangers continuing to go from strength to strength under Steven Gerrard?

The bookies certainly seem to think there’s a decent chance. Ladbrokes had to drop their price on the Gers winning the league after 91.75% of title bets went on them. As well as this, Gerrard’s men come into this Old Firm derby as favourites, the first time this has happened since their Premiership return. No longer the underdogs, it’ll be interesting to see how the home side copes with the added pressure but their form and morale could hardly be better right now.

Top Tips

Rangers to win to nil @ 10/3

Rangers 1-0 @ 7/1

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Rangers News: Kent keen on Gers returns

Ibrox Football Stadium
Tom Brogan, flickr

Ryan Kent made 43 appearances for Rangers last season, claiming many plaudits in the process. He’s a player Gerrard rates highly but a solid season in the Scottish top flight wasn’t enough to convince Jurgen Klopp he’s good enough to make the Liverpool squad just yet.

Surplus to requirement at Anfield, the Reds are happy to offload the 22-year-old for a fee of around £7m. Kent has confirmed he’s eager to return to Ibrox but only time will tell if a deal can be struck before the transfer deadline which for Scottish clubs is midnight on Monday 2nd September.

Barker hamstrung again

When recruiting Brandon Barker from Manchester City in August, Gerrard described him as “the type of player we’ve been looking for”. Fast and skilful, the 22-year-old is a promising talent but Rangers fans are yet to get a close look at him due to a reoccurrence of a hamstring problem.

Twice during his loan stint at Preston, Barker was sidelined by such a problem and his hamstring let him down yet again in Tuesday’s Glasgow Cup fixture. After hobbling off the pitch then, he’s a major doubt for this game.

Rangers form almost perfect

Thanks to their participation in the early stages of Europa League qualifying, Rangers have already played a significant number of games. At this early stage of the season that is a real plus as they will be at 100% match fitness.

They will also be boosted a great deal by the fact that their results could barely have been better. Competitive action for them began all the way back on the 9th July with a clash against Gibraltan minnows St Joseph’s. Including that resounding 4-0 away win, Gerrard’s men have played 12 competitive matches this term, winning 10 and drawing two. In the same period, they also won two friendly games and drew a third, all against a high level of opponent.

This game against Celtic could hardly have come at a better time and the players and fans will be full of confidence.

Celtic News: Bhoys face battle for Taylor

Celtic Park Football Stadium
rbrough, flickr

Kilmarnock boss Angelo Alessio admitted there have been conversations between his side and Celtic regarding the signature of left back Greg Taylor. Killie are not eager to offload one of their star players but do appear willing to let him leave should anyone match their £3m asking price.

Sunderland initially placed a bid well under this figure but there is a good chance the Black Cats will return with an improved offer. Other clubs are also rumoured to be eyeing up the Scottish international so Celtic face competition for his signature.

Celtic also in fine fettle

Like Rangers, Celtic have won three out of three in the SPL and they are ahead of their hosts on goal difference coming into this clash. They lost out on the Champions League in dramatic and hugely disappointing fashion, conceding in the 97th minute at home against Cluj but that has been the only blot on their copybook thus far.

They bounced back from that agonising defeat by reeling off four straight wins though and they too will be buoyant as they prepare for this huge clash.

Analysis: Both clubs enjoy mid-week lift

There will be no players feeling sorry for themselves at Ibrox this weekend as both Celtic and Rangers booked their place in the Europa League group stage on Thursday. It was a nervy night for the Gers but in the dying minutes Alfredo Morelos popped up to avoid the tie going to extra time. Their rivals on the other hand absolutely sailed through, beating AIK 6-1 on aggregate thanks to an impressive display in Stockholm.

Rangers defence to dominate

The home supporters at Ibrox on Thursday night were left on the edge of their seats during a tie so delicately poised it was even for more than 180 minutes over two legs. It wasn’t the prettiest of victories for Gerrard’s men in the end but they must be credited for their perseverance and resilience.

Rangers once again showed they are not a team that cracks under pressure, a big reason why their defence has let in just two goals during their last nine home matches. This match promises to be just as nervy but still, the Gers’ defence should hold firm, giving a win to nil real appeal at very tempting odds of 10/3.

Ibrox effect too strong

The crowd can often act as a 12th man in Old Firm contests. Over the clubs’ four meetings last season, always the home side prevailed. The rallying atmosphere inside the ground appears to be enough to separate two teams who are as close in ability now as they’ve been since before Rangers’ traumatic relegation. When also taking into account the Gers have lost just one home match this calendar year, an FA Cup bout with Aberdeen, it’s hard to back against them here. Beating a side with as much quality as Celtic won’t be an easy ask but they should have what it takes to edge past them 1-0 (7/1).

Madden in for another busy afternoon

Bobby Madden was the man in charge during last season’s particularly ill-tempered Old Firm derby. The 40-year-old sent Alfredo Morelos and Andy Halliday for an early bath and received an earful from an incensed Gerrard come full-time.

With this game so important for early season momentum, we’re likely in for another aggressive match in which each team attempts to out-battle the other both physically and mentally. Prime suspects to pick up a card are Alfredo Morelos (5/6) and Scott Brown (10/11) with the pair managing 17 yellow and 6 reds between them in the league last season.

Recent Matches

Rangers’ did the home double over their arch-rivals last season, having previously gone 12 games without beating them. On both occasions, the Gers won to nil and clean sheets have become an increasingly regular addition to the Old Firm derby. During their last nine clashes, we’ve seen nine clean sheets in total, six for Celtic and three for Rangers, so this has not been a great match for fans of backing both teams to score.

12th May 2019: Rangers 2 – 0 Celtic

Celtic had already secured the title ahead of this penultimate match of the season but by losing this game, Rangers fans’ were given something to savour themselves. A James Tavernier free-kick found its way in after two minutes, setting the tone for an afternoon which Rangers bossed.

The rampant hosts added another goal just after the hour mark with Scott Arfield finishing off a lovely flowing move. Celtic could have few complaints with the result but were rightly angered by how Jon Flanagan managed to stay on the pitch after hitting Scott Brown in the face.

31st March 2019: Celtic 2 – 1 Rangers

Celtic edged closer to their eighth successive title with victory over their Old Firm rivals in this typically heated affair. Odsonne Edouard put the hosts ahead after 27 minutes and just four minutes later the Gers' task became even tougher when Alfredo Morelos collected his fifth red card of the season for an elbow on Hoops captain Scott Brown.

Despite Celtic's advantage it was Rangers who scored next, drawing level with a superb effort from Ryan Kent. The momentum shifted further in the visitors' favour when Celtic were reduced to 10 men with Dedryck Boyata exiting injured after Neil Lennon had made all his substitutions. However, it was James Forrest who struck the final blow for the home team, netting the winner after an 87th minute counter.

29th December 2018: Rangers 1 – 0 Celtic

Andy Halliday’s early challenge set the tone for this match with the left back celebrating his tackle of Olivier Ntcham as though he scored. Clearly the more fired up team, Rangers took not time in laying siege on the Celtic goal. Craig Gordon pulled off two smart saves early on before the Gers hit the post from a corner. The hosts continued to dominate and got their reward when Ryan Jack’s effort rolled in following a kind deflection. Celtic thought they equalised in the second half through Callum McGregor but the linesman’s flag came to Rangers’ rescue.

2nd September 2018: Celtic 1 – 0 Rangers

The first Old Firm Derby of the 2018/19 season went the way of the home side with Brendan Rogers getting the better of his old colleague Steven Gerrard. The former Liverpool player had Gers goalkeeper Allan McGregor and the woodwork to thank for keeping the scores respectable producing a string of saves to keep Celtic at bay. The winner came from a blistering counter by Tom Rogic with Olivier Ntcham producing the finish.

29th April 2018: Celtic 5 – 0 Rangers

Celtic produced an emphatic display to secure their 49th league title, their seventh in a row. Odsonne Edouard netted a first half brace and goals either side of half-time from James Forrest and Tom Rogic ended the game as a contest. The rout was completed on a miserable afternoon for the blue half of Glasgow when Calum McGregor slotted home past a hapless Jak Alnwick.

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