This is the be-all and end-all for Celtic if they want to win a record 10th league title in-a-row. Neil Lennon’s side go into this Old Firm Derby a whopping 16 points off their fierce rivals, but they do have three games in hand, so a win on Saturday would effectively blow the title race wide open.
Assuming Celtic win their three games in hand, a win at Ibrox on Saturday would leave them just four points off Rangers with just under half a season left to play. There is just the small matter of winning at the impregnable Ibrox.
Rangers have been faultless at home all season, winning ten games out of ten in the league while conceding just one goal. They have been nothing short of exceptional under Steven Gerrard this year and are rightly considered as champions-elect.
However, they are yet to win a trophy under Gerrard and seem to have a mental hoodoo doing so, a point emphasised by their League Cup elimination by Ross County after Celtic had already been knocked out of the competition. Celtic’s form has also improved in recent weeks and this could be a seismic moment in the Scottish title race.
Rangers v Celtic, Saturday January 2: 12.30pm
Sky Sports Football
Edouard’s seven league goals this season represents a paltry figure compared to his 22-goal haul last season, but he seems to save his best for Rangers. Edouard has scored in three of Celtic’s last five games against their Glasgow rivals, while he has scored a total of six goals in Old Firms since joining Celtic from PSG.
The French striker may not be hitting the goalscoring heights of recent seasons so far, but he does perform in big games and managed to score in three important Europa League fixtures this season in what was ultimately a forgettable campaign for Lennon’s side. On his day, Edouard is one of the best strikers in the league and he could help keep Celtic’s hopes alive on Saturday.
While Rangers have been watertight at the back at home, they have also been ruthless at the other end. Gerrard’s side have scored 32 goals in their 10 home league games this season and have only failed to score more than once on one occasion – in a 1-0 win against Hibs on Boxing Day.
There is a very good chance that they will score again here, even if Celtic do manage to upset the odds and win at Ibrox. Neil Lennon’s side will almost definitely have to score twice if they are to keep this title race alive.
* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
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