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Celtic Vs Rangers -Saturday 3rd, 12:30

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It’s the first meeting between Scotland’s big two of the season, and expectations are high. Celtic have banged in a staggering 21 goals so far, conceding only once and have gained maximum points along the way. This is the 431st meeting between these fierce rivals, and both sides will be looking to keep confidence high and take it into their Champions League fixtures in midweek against Real Madrid and Ajax respectively. For now, their attention will be fully focused on the 3 points here, especially Rangers, as if they lose, they’ll already be 5 points behind Celtic in 1st place.

Last Sunday, the Hoops remained top of the table by recording their biggest-ever away win, trouncing Dundee United 0-9, with both Furuhashi and Abada leaving Tannadice with match balls after scoring hat-tricks. In their last game, a League Cup tie away at Ross County, they turned out an impressive performance to win 1-4, with James Forrest scoring the 4th and making it 14 consecutive seasons he has scored for Celtic.

Rangers meanwhile dropped points at Easter Road a fortnight ago, ending up with ten men after Morelos saw red and conceding the equaliser in the 92nd minute. But great wins since away at PSV 0-1 to secure a CL place, then home wins against Ross County 4-0 and Queen of the South 3-1 have kept their 8-game unbeaten run going.

We witnessed five H2Hs last season ending in two wins each, and a draw which was a Cup match, so went to extra-time, only for Starfelt to send a clearance into his own net and Rangers to eventually run out winners and then go on to lift the trophy beating Hearts 2-0 in the final. Celtic are on a 17-game unbeaten run (W12, D5) and a 7-game consecutive win streak.

Key stats

* Celtic have scored 25 times in all competitions 

* Rangers have scored 21 times in all competitions 

* Only 15% draws over the last 20 H2Hs 

* 40% BTTS over the last 20 H2Hs 

* Celtic 7 straight wins

This Old Firm derby will see lots of incidents, so we predict a red card and a home win. Furuhashi should score, and possibly a penalty to be awarded. Otherwise, it’ll be a tight game as usual, but with home advantage, Celtic should hold the bragging rights at the final whistle. 

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