Ten Writers on The Celtic Star give their Glasgow Derby Predictions

Ten Writers on The Celtic Star’s make their Glasgow Derby Predictions with one or two missing for superstitious reasons which is fair enough…

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

1. Paul Gillespie’s Prediction: theRangers 1-2 Celtic…

It’s been a topsy-turvy kind of season this year and we’re now reaching the climax. Although I can’t say I’ve been impressed with our record against the poorer teams in the league or the side in third place currently, I do have to admit we’ve had their number in those two past derbies.

The last game at Ibrox was one that many dreaded as we had been so slow and sluggish at the start of the new season. Dropped points against St Johnstone beforehand didn’t exactly set the pulses racing either.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Somehow though, we managed to go and deliver a knockout blow which came from our go-to-guy in these sorts of games, Kyogo. The wee fella has a wonderful knack of producing some of his best football whenever the Tribute Act are standing in front of us. The demolitions at Hampden Paradise and Ibrox in 2023 were something to behold and I wouldn’t put it past him doing it once again in what promises to be a cauldron come Sunday lunchtime.

The lack of a consistent and settled side has really been an issue all season but that hasn’t seemed to stop us from beating our closest rivals for the Scottish Premiership twice already. With Reo Hatate back and fit and Callum McGregor hopefully back in there with their old chum O’Riley, that midfield area could just win Celtic the match this weekend.

Reo Hatate of Celtic (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

With that said, I think it will be a similar match to the one that Celtic won in April 2022 at Ibrox, to all but clinch the title that year under Ange Postecoglou. I reckon Rodgers can do the same and put us in pole position for a dramatic finale…Prediction: theRangers 1 – 2 Celtic Goalscorers: Hatate and Kyogo. Oh, and a penalty for the home side just for good measure!

2. Matthew Marr’s always gets it wrong, so is tipping theRangers…

Photo by Kirk O Rourke

Being asked to write a prediction for Sunday’s game gives me two notable problems. One, I immediately think of Jock Stein’s famous quote: “Only a fool would try to predict the score in an Old Firm game!” But then I remember that there is no Old Firm, and that makes me feel better.

Second, against any Rangers team, I am always very pessimistic, and worry that any positive prediction will see me being wrong. A story from earlier this season exemplifies this. In the first Ibrox game, I thought Rangers would win.

Photo by Kirk O Rourke

I was actually at church for the first half of the game, going into mass just after kick-off. As I was going in, I heard a roar from flats opposite and checked my phone: 1-0 to Rangers. I assumed therefore that my negative prediction would be correct.

On leaving the service, it took me a minute to work out how the 1-0 Rangers scoreline had changed to 1-0 to Celtic! And then of course it ended up being a great day, albeit one we’ve not fully exploited since then due to poor results. The honest scenario is that Sunday is genuinely knife edge stuff. Celtic have beaten this Ibrox team twice this season, albeit without completely dominating them. On another day, both matches might have gone against us.

Photo by Kirk O Rourke

In recent weeks, there’s been more reason to be optimistic. Generally (Hearts aside), Celtic have looked better, and some players are back from injury at the right time. This puts us in a good place. It’s certainly more than possible that we could win by the odd goal in three.

Still, I can’t quite shake off the idea that whatever I predict will see me being completely wrong. So let’s say that it’ll be a Rangers win on Sunday … and then definitely no Celtic Champions League triumph by the end of the decade!

Matthew Marr

3. Niall J’s Prediction: theRangers 1-2 Celtic…

IMAGO / Shutterstock Photo by Kirk O Rourke/Shutterstock Liam Scales of Celtic clears during the Scottish Premiership match at Ibrox on 03 September 2023

Here’s my prediction for the weekend. A Tavernier penalty and a Kyogo double in a come from behind 2-1 win. Nae bother pal…

Well, we’ve got no chance, do we? That appears to be the media narrative ahead of this Glasgow Derby. The latest club to play out of Ibrox have home advantage and their position is further strengthened by the absence of Celtic’s legendary twelfth man.

Add to that the SFA have ensured theRangers have their own twelfth man in the shape of John Beaton, a thirteenth running the line, a fourteenth positioned in a Clydebank portacabin and a forelock-tugger positioned between the two technical areas. The ducks are in a row you might say.

So, this is going to be difficult – it would be churlish to suggest otherwise – but Celtic have a couple of things going for them that it could be suggested the opposition would exchange their assembled tanks on the Ibrox lawn for.

A manager with 12 wins and only one loss in 15 Glasgow derbies – and one who has already defeated two Ibrox gaffers this season – alongside a striker who visits Conor Goldson in his dreams, whispers past glories in his ear and has his wife mopping the gathered sweat from his sleep interrupted brow.

. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Celtic’s difference makers this weekend will be Brendan Rodgers and Kyogo Furuhashi and it is a backhanded compliment to both that Scottish football’s establishment has recognised intervention is absolutely necessary.

For Celtic, this is a team at last in some coherent and consistent form, in a season where mainly injuries, but also poor decision making at boardroom level surrounding player recruitment and woeful underestimation of supporter banishment on performances has impacted our ability to build up and then sustain a healthy lead at the top of the table.

Of late the support has circled the wagons, Rodgers seems to have found his mojo again, the substitutes bench is starting to smack of strength in depth and the casualty list has cleared up to the point the missing piece of the jigsaw may be about to slot into place with the news our captain is back in training.

. Photo Andrew Milligan

Let them have their assembled hired help, Celtic have been here, done it and know what it takes to emerge with the win. In big games our Bhoys are rarely found wanting. Rightly or wrongly their game is raised for these encounters and many already know they have the beating of their opposite number.

It will be tough; the direct opponent will not be the only obstacle but it has often been that way and we have many in the squad who will ensure those without experience are more than prepared for the challenge. Celtic will overcome all the hurdles put in our way. And after Tavernier slots home his inevitable penalty it will be a double from Kyogo that ensures Mrs Goldson will go to bed on Sunday night with a cold compress handily placed on the bedside table.

Niall J

4. Liam Kelly’s Prediction: theRangers 1-1 Celtic...

. Photo Andrew Milligan

I can see it being cagey...I’ll go for a 1-1 draw. I think Celtic have too much to lose in this fixture, but theRangers don’t have the mentality to win it and take a massive step towards the title. Therefore, I can see it being cagey – Celtic to score first and the home side to equalise in the second half. A draw would be okay for Celtic, we would then look to win the rest of our games to take the trophy.

Liam Kelly

5. Just an Ordinary Bhoy’s Prediction: theRangers 1-2 Celtic...

(Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

I’m a lot more optimistic.. I’m never confident going into these games, and Sunday will be no exception! However I’m a lot more optimistic than I was three or four weeks ago due to our recent results and performances.

Also the fact that the likes of Cameron Carter-Vickers and Reo Hatate and possibly Callum McGregor will be available then it’s looking a bit brighter. To outsiders it’s got a draw written all over it, but we can’t settle for that so I’m going for a narrow nerve jangling 2-1 Celtic victory.

Just an Ordinary Bhoy

6. The Celtic Star Editor’s Prediction: theRangers 0-2 Celtic...

Winning the big games is a very good habit that Celtic have got into – domestically at least – over the past three seasons. The key to a Celtic victory on Sunday is surviving the first ten minutes but it’s also a window of opportunity to hit them on the break when they are going all out for an early opener.

That will give the front three of Maeda, Kyogo and Kuhn the rare luxury of room in behind and with both Hatate and O’Riley more than capable of finding the front three, I’d expect Celtic to get the early goal and deflate the place.

It’s a long way back after that but the next goal is crucial and Celtic can get this too just as things get desperate and any discipline that Clement’s side goes out the window. Picture the Jonny Hayes second Celtic goal there a few years ago. So I’m going for Celtic to win 2-0 with Joe Hart celebrating a clean sheet and a brilliant personal performance on his last visit to their place and cuddling the two goalscorers Kyogo and Daizen Maeda.

The Celtic Star Editor

7. James French’s Prediction: theRangers 0-2 Celtic...

Reo Hatate of Celtic (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Clement was coy and bullish, Rodgers was much calmer and cleverer…

Celtic and theRangers are separated by just a single point in the league table. But both clubs are divided by more points, as we all know.

The build up to the game this week has seemed unusually quiet compared to previous Glasgow Derby’s, even more unusual considering this Sunday stands as the biggest game between Scotland’s top two in half a decade. Phillipe Clement spoke of wanting passionate players, “not mathmeticians”, while Brendan Rodgers emphasised the importance of calm heads.

Clement was coy and bullish in his pre-match comments, pointing to the fact his Rangers side have scored more and conceded less than Celtic since the last game between the two, while Rodgers was much calmer and cleverer in his pre-game presser.

The Irishman spoke of “not getting entrenched in the whole storyline”, staying calm but also attacking the game, in defence and attack. Celtic have epitomised the perfect balance between staying calm but also playing on the front foot in both Glasgow derby games this season. This Celtic team may not have the vintage aura that previous sides have possessed, but what they do possesses is a manager who thrives in these games.

Rodgers has managed in 15 fixtures against theRangers, winning 12, drawing twice and losing just once.

Predicting the outcome in these games is nailed on impossible, but I will attempt to do so regardless. Kyogo Furuhashi has played a big part in both games versus theRangers this season and last, but I expect his Japanese compatriot Reo Hatate to prove to be the difference on Sunday.

Celtic will be given space and opportunities to hurt theRangers in transitions, and regardless of Hatate’s tendency to give possession away, he has the quality to pick holes in theRangers’ defensive structure. I think that theRangers will probably score tomorrow, but I expect Celtic to win regardless. Prediction: Rangers 1-2 Celtic
Scorers: Hatate, Idah

James French

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

8.Conall McGinty’s Prediction: theRangers 1-2 Celtic...

Celtic Players, management and supporters laser focused on success.. I’m feeling really confident heading into this one. After a rather disappointing season so far things seem to be aligning at exactly the right time for Celtic, with long term absentees returning from injury and the players all starting to hit form just in time for what looks like being a blockbuster run in.

The atmosphere around the club has been positive recently with fan grievances with the board put aside until the end of the season, it seems that the players, our management team and the fans are all laser focused on making this a successful campaign.

Brendan Rodgers finally has his full squad at his disposal on Sunday and that’s what I think will make the difference. Man for man we are better than our opponents and we will prove it in front of the Ibrox hordes. I’m going for a score of 2-1 to Celtic, with Hatate claiming the first goal in a man of the match performance.

Conall McGinty

9. Lubo98’s Prediction: theRangers 0-1 Celtic...

Celtic travel to Ibrox this afternoon for the mouthwatering clash against Rangers. With one point between the sides, Brendan Rodgers’ side will be looking for a positive result in a game that could have an impact on the destination of the Premiership title next month.

The build-up ahead of Celtic’s game against Rangers has been that Philippe Clement’s team are in the ascendancy with Rodgers’ team hanging on by their fingernails. As the Celtic manager pointed out, in their last five games, both teams have won four and lost one meaning that form-wise wise they are on similar paths. There is no escaping the importance of the fixture given the proximity of the teams in the league table.

Defensively, Celtic will look to be solid given that Cameron Carter-Vickers is available for the first time in this fixture since last year’s Scottish Cup Semi Final. The next question is whether Callum McGregor starts in the centre of the park, having dominated the last two fixtures. Kyogo has seven goals in his last six starts against Rangers and will be keen to continue to make the difference in Derby Day in Glasgow.

The game will come down to narrow margins with quality in each area of the pitch required to ensure a positive result. The Green Brigade/Bhoys Celtic display as the players departed for the team hotel yesterday was ‘By Any Means Necessary’ and that typifies the fighting spirit that will be required when the team go to battle at Ibrox. Rodgers and his team will

With all that said, I will predict a score 1-0 to Celtic but I would be happy enough with the points being shared between the teams. Rodgers has an excellent record in the fixture but he will know the significance of not losing. Whilst Celtic will look to win the game, they will be careful not to leave themselves exposed to benefit Rangers’ counterattack. Lubo98 – Rangers 0 Celtic 1

Brendan Rodgers, gives a thumbs-up at full-time following the team’s victory in the Cinch Scottish Premiership match against theRangers at Celtic Park on December 30, 2023. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Jessica Elliott has provided her prediction for the game, predicting a narrow victory for the Scottish Champions.

10. Jessica Elliott’s Prediction – Rangers 1 Celtic 2

I’m saying 2-1 in Celtic’s favour. I think that our squad is more than good enough to beat them and off the back of a good win against Livingston, I don’t see Rangers being able to overcome us. With that being said, I could also see this ending in a draw and I do think that, if we do win, the winning goal will come very late in the game.

Either way, it’s definitely going to be a close one but I think that this game could be important in the title race.


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About Author

Born just as Celtic were stopping the Ten, Lubo98 follows Celtic home and away and helps run his local Celtic Supporters Club. He goes to all the games and is a Law Graduate. Has a particular fondness for Tom Rogic among the current Celts and both Lubo and Henrik form his earliest Celtic memories.

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