Saturday, February 4, 2023

Five talking points ahead of the first Glasgow Derby of the season

Scottish PremiershipCelticFive talking points ahead of the first Glasgow Derby of the season
- Advertisement -

Rangers host Celtic in Sunday’s opening Glasgow derby of the new season.

Both sides go into the Ibrox clash with a perfect record of three wins from three, while both secured safe passage to the Europa League group stages on Thursday night.

Here PA’s Andy Newport takes a look at the big talking points ahead of the derby showdown.

The money is on Rangers, for a change

For the first time since 2011, the Light Blues go in to a derby battle against their old foes as slight favourites. Both sides have started the Ladbrokes Premiership campaign with three straight wins and will have European football to keep them busy up to Christmas after clinching their group stage slots. Celtic have been free-scoring but the Gers defence has been watertight so far this season, leaving it almost too close to call with home advantage the main reason why some bookmakers are favouring Steven Gerrard’s team.

Celtic’s defensive worries clear

There were fears the Hoops might have to make the trip across Glasgow with a makeshift rearguard after Kristoffer Ajer suffered a groin injury during Thursday’s win in Stockholm. With Jozo Simunovic also struggling for fitness, Neil Lennon might have been faced with fielding derby debutants Boli Bolingoli, Moritz Bauer and Christopher Jullien alongside midfielder Nir Bitton at the back. But Lennon is confident Ajer and Simunovic will pull through and provide some much-needed experience.

Alfredo Morelos needs to keep his cool

The Colombian underlined his importance to Rangers again on Thursday night as his last-minute winner saw off Legia Warsaw to see Gers qualify for the Europa League for the second year in succession. It was his 10th goal in 11 games this season, yet the 23-year-old’s record against Celtic is nowhere near as sharp – he has drawn a total blank in his nine derby run-outs so far. He was fined by Gerrard after getting sent-off for a stupid swipe out at Scott Brown at Parkhead in March but his manager insists the striker is maturing. He needs to prove it on Sunday.

- Advertisement -

Ange Postecoglou: VAR is making refs scared to make decisions

The Celtic manager, Ange Postecoglou, believes the way VAR is used in Scotland has turned the game for the worst. The gaffer was fuming about...

Celtic 4 – 2 Dundee United: Kyogo turns super sub as Celts leave it...

Dundee United must've thought they had one point in the bag, but Celtic had other ideas as they crushed the comeback, with two late...

Virgil Van Dijk claims he told Celtic scouts to sign Andy Robertson

Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk, has said when he was at Celtic he urged the clubs scouts to sign Andy Robertson. The Hoops signed the...

‘Full of maybe’s’ Ange Postecoglou’s optimism with poor Champions League campaign

Chances created. Chances missed. Chances conceded. The common them with Celtic in Europe this season as a frustrating campaign comes to an end. But, the...

‘Get rid of him’ Fans react: Dismal display for Celts as they ship five...

Celtic ended a rather frustrating Champions League campaign as Real Madrid scored five goals to top Group F. 21 minutes in and already the Scottish...

Call to action

Each element can be added and moved around within any page effortlessly. All the features you need are just one click away.

Check out our other content

Check out other tags:

Most Popular Articles