It’s the Dead Rubber Derby Day! theRangers v Celtic this lunchtime and unlike every other game against them this season, this one is decidedly low-key with all the major issues having already been decided in Celtic’s favour.
The league has been won with Celtic having two cinch Premiership wins and one draw in the three matches already played this season and the League Cup is ours after that 2-1 win over theRangers at Hampden in February. And we were back at the National stadium a few weeks ago to knock them out of the Scottish Cup at the semi-final stage meaning that Celtic have a final to look forward to against Inverness Caley Thistle on Saturday 3rd June.
For theRangers today is all about trying to lay a glove on Celtic – for the first time under Michael Beale – and to raise morale and sell through their season tickets ahead of next season when they will be title favourites by Hugh Keevins and everyone on Radio Clyde bar Mark Wilson.
Celtic are chasing records, record number of goals, more points that the real Invincibles under Brendan Rodgers but these things tend to mean more to the players. Remember that time when we won the league against them at Celtic Park in 2018 and we were 5-0 up with around 25 minutes left…then we took the foot off the gas, when every Celtic fan was thinking about seven and theRangers fans concerned about it going into double figures.
But a win today would be lovely and frankly Celtic have way too much class. So silence is green, white and golden! But there will be no Guard of Honour…
Aaron Mooy is a doubt so is unlikely to be risked but James Forrest returns to the squad and is available for selection this afternoon. At yesterday’s media conference ahead of the trip to Ibrox Ange Postecoglou gave this squad update: “Nothing major from last week. James Forrest is available as he has been back training which is good. Aaron Mooy is a little bit touch-and-go for Saturday. He is just a bit sore with a couple of things and we will see how he is. Everyone else is fine and good to go.”
Predicted Team and score
We reckon that Ange Postecoglou will name the following side to take on theRangers this afternoon…
Joe Hart, Anthony Ralston, Carl Starfelt, Yuki Kobayashi, Greg Taylor; Callum McGregor (c), Reo Hatate, Matt O’Riley; Jota, Kyogo and Daizen Maeda.
Subs – Scott Bain, Alexandro Bernabei, David Turnbull, Aaron Mooy, Tomoki Iwata, James Forrest, Sead Hakšabanović, Liel Abada, Hyeongyu Oh and a few of the B Team Bhoys.
Predicted Score – theRangers 0 – 2 Celtic
Our old friend Steven McLean will referee today’s Glasgow Derby at Ibrox and his two assistants will be David Roome and Jonathan Bell. The Fourth official is Don Robertson and Greg Aitken in on VAR duties assisted by David McGeachie. What could possibly go wrong? Will we see the first penalty of the season awarded to a visiting side in the cinch Premiership?
Today’s Dead Rubber theRangers v Celtic kicks off at 12.30pm. There will be no Celtic supporters (officially) in the stadium although a few will be there undercover. We’ve got one going along today!
Where to Watch the Champions
The game is live on Sky Sports with the build-up starting at 11.30am. The game is also available to Celtic TV subscribers based outside of Britain and Ireland.
🟢 Matchday for the Champions! ⚪
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) May 13, 2023