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Ranger’s European run came to an end on Thursday as they fell to a 2-0 defeat, ending the game with nine men, as they suffered their first home defeat of the season.
However, they shouldn’t suffer too badly from tired legs having not played domestically between the two encounters with a decent Slavia Prague outfit, and will no doubt be fired up for this encounter.
The league title may be done and dusted, but aside from bragging rights, the Gers are aiming to emulate Celtic’s unbeaten season from 2016/17.
They can even match the points tally the Hoops achieved under Brendan Rodgers if they win their final six games, and are understandably favourites to get the better of their Old Firm rivals here.
Under 2.5 Goals
In nine meetings with Celtic since Steven Gerrard was appointed, Rangers have edged the head to heads as they’ve won five of them, including each of the past three as the momentum has swung their way.
The most notable feature of these matches has been the paucity of goals, as seven saw fewer than three, as only one of the five meetings since the start of last season breached that threshold.
Rangers have won the two encounters this term by 1-0 and 2-0 scorelines, and we’d be surprised if there was an excess of chances here.
Nine of the Gers’ 13 league games since Christmas have seen under 2.5 goals land, with only one of those exceptions coming against a top-five team.
Rangers To Win 1-0
Whereas they were quite often thumping teams in the first half of the campaign, they’ve been more efficient rather than spectacular as they’ve honed in on the league title, with four of their last seven resulting in narrow 1-0 victories.
Celtic’s defence has often let them down this season, but they have tightened up at the back as they haven’t conceded more than once in any of their past eight outings.
Each of their last four appearances have seen just one goal or less, including a single strike across their two games under caretaker John Kennedy so far.
They’ve beaten an out-of-form Aberdeen 1-0 and had a goalless stalemate with bottom-half side Dundee United under new management, and this should prove another tight affair.
Neither team has great injury concerns at present. Celtic are without centre-back Christopher Jullien and left-back Greg Taylor, while their visitors are missing right-back James Tavernier and long-term absentee Nikola Katic, as midfielder Ryan Jack is also a doubt.
Captain Tavernier has proven a key player for Rangers this season, but Nathan Patterson has performed well in his absence including a brilliant last-ditch tackle on Thursday, so we’re not unduly concerned by the team news.
Rangers Draw No Bet
Although some might fear a relaxation in standards having secured the title, the prospect of remaining unbeaten is a strong motivational factor and the visitors are worth getting behind to at least avoid defeat.
They’ve won 28 of 32 matches this season and with a strong recent record in the head to heads, should put their European disappointment behind them.