The Old Firm is back – Match Preview

This Saturday is a monumental day of sport, which kicks off with the return of the Old Firm derby to the Scottish Premier League.

The last time these two sides collided in the top tier was back in the 2011/12 season. This is a result of Rangers being demoted down to the Scottish Third Division after their high profile financial issues which led to them going through the process of liquidation.

Rangers’ long awaited return to the top flight was complete last season as they eased to league title glory, with their two closest rivals being 11 points off the pace.

In their rivals absence, Celtic have dominated the Scottish Premiership, winning the league each season at a canter.

This season, under new manager Brendan Rodgers, they have managed to strengthen even further bringing in the likes of Kolo Toure, Moussa Dembele and Scott Sinclair, the latter is currently flourishing in his newfound surroundings with four goals in his first six Hoops appearances.

The last meeting between these two came last season in the Semi-Final of the Scottish FA Cup, as they served up an instant classic. The score was 2-2 after extra time, but the blue side of Glasgow managed to earn the bragging rights by defeating Celtic 5-4 on penalties.

This game is made up of numerous mouth watering match ups, Brown vs Barton being the most intriguing one.

Both players play with their heart on their sleeve and have a wealth of experience playing high pressure fixtures at the top level, but this is Barton’s first Old Firm game.

There is no love lost between the pair, as they have both gone on record to display their dislike for one another.

Previous meetings:

17th April 2016 – Rangers 2 – 2 Celtic (Rangers 5-4 win on pens) – Scottish FA Cup

1st February 2015 – Celtic 2 – 0 Rangers – Scottish League Cup

29th April 2012 – Celtic 3 – 0 Rangers – Scottish Premiership

25th March 2012 – Rangers 3 – 2 Celtic – Scottish Premiership

28th December 2011 – Celtic 1 – 0 Rangers  – Scottish Premiership

18th December 2011 – Rangers 4 – 2 Celtic – Scottish Premiership

Team News:

Celtic are waiting to hear if their priced striker, Leigh Griffiths, will be passed fit to play after he has been struggling with a hamstring injury. Left-back Marc Tierney should be fit after pulling out of the Scotland squad to face Malta.

Martyn Waghorn and Josh Windass are both in contention to return for Rangers, while Joe Dodoo and and Matt Crooks remain on the sidelines.

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