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Rangers come to Celtic Park as league champions for the first time in 10 years thanks in no small part to their impregnable defence. Steven Gerrard’s side boast a simply stunning defensive record, conceding just nine goals in 32 league games.
The fact that Rangers’ goals against column has still not reached double digits with six games remaining in the league is genuinely astounding and this defensive resilience has been the cornerstone of their title march.
Celtic have failed to score against them in both meetings this season and Rangers will be desperate to ensure that that record continues on Sunday. The Gers have only conceded more than once on one occasion all season, but have found goals somewhat hard to come by themselves in recent league games.
Gerrard’s side have scored one goal or less in five of their last seven games and seem to have taken their foot slightly off the gas as the league title became more of an inevitability. The Bhoys additionally haven’t conceded in four league games and will hope to contain the Rangers attack for the first time this season. A high-scoring thriller appears unlikely on Sunday.
Sunday 12:00 – Celtic v Rangers
Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Football
Rangers will hope to do a league treble over Celtic this season on Sunday, but will be more than happy with a point since it will virtually guarantee an invincible league season.
They head into this fixture in less-than-ideal circumstances after crashing out of the Europa League on Thursday night at the hands of Slavia Praha and will have to pick themselves off the floor for a dead-rubber game if they want to protect that unbeaten record.
However, the Old Firm is never meaningless, and Gerrard should have no trouble motivating his troops for one final battle before the season’s end. Celtic, on the other hand, will be desperate to prevent Rangers from emulating their unbeaten league season in 2016/17.
The Hoops are on course to finish the season strongly after a run of 22 points from 24 games, but they have been second best in each of their last two home games against Rangers and may have to settle for a point.
Both Old Firm sides have been excellent at the back in recent weeks with Celtic appearing to overcome the defensive shortcomings that plagued the first half of their campaign, and ultimately cost them any chance of challenging for a tenth title in-a-row.
The now John Kennedy-led outfit have conceded just three goals in their last 10 league games and boast a far more stubborn defence than they did prior to Christmas.
Rangers, on the other hand, have conceded a staggering four goals in 14 games and hardly ever look in danger of conceding domestically – their defensive record in the Europa League is another matter altogether. However, there is a good chance that both sides will cancel each other on Sunday even though both will be desperate to claim a win for very different reasons.
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