Celtic v Rangers Preview

Celtic host Rangers in Steven Gerrard’s first Old Firm derby at Parkhead on Sunday and the visitors will be optimistic of picking up a positive result after an impressive start to the season.

Gerrard was handed the reins at Ibrox this summer and has made a fantastic start to his managerial career, with Rangers yet to taste defeat in either domestic or European football.

Stevie sets sights on breakthrough win

The former Liverpool captain has been extremely busy during the transfer window and the huge squad overhaul has worked for the Gers so far – winning six matches and drawing six.

History has not been on Rangers’ side in recent meetings against their eternal enemies, with Celtic unbeaten in the previous 11 Old Firm clashes and last tasting defeat in 90 minutes back in 2012.

To make the Bhoys’ record even more impressive, they have not lost against the Light Blues at home in the Scottish Premiership since 2010 – Kenny Miller scoring a double on that day in the 3-1 victory.

Gerrard’s men head into Sunday’s contest off the back of a 1-1 draw against FC Ufa in Russia on Thursday night, a result that was enough to see the Scottish giants qualify for the Europa League after winning the tie 2-1 on aggregate.

However, Rangers ended that match with nine men after Alfredo Morelos and Jon Flanagan were both shown second yellow cards and there could be some tired legs on show after a long trip back from Bashkortostan.

Celtic keen to rediscover form

In contrast, Celtic recorded a comfortable 3-0 home victory against Suduva on Thursday – also booking their place in the Europa League group stage – and the defending league champions are firm 1.58 favourites to pick up the win on Sunday.

Worryingly for Brendan Rodgers, his side have shown frailties at the back this season and this was highlighted in the 1-0 defeat to Hearts in the league and the 2-1 loss against AEK Athens.

The Northern Irishman made it clear he wanted to bring in defensive additions this summer but he has seemingly had his hands tied in this department, with new faces to his squad limited.

Look out for goals and cards

With Rangers failing to score in just two matches in this campaign, there appears to be more hope they could triumph this weekend and they are a tempting price at 5.30, with the draw at 4.10.

However, the Bhoys, who are 1.16 favourites to win the Scottish title this year, have recorded clean sheets in seven of their last nine home matches against the Gers in all competitions and Rodgers’ men are 2.60 to win to nil.

This fixture often turns out to a bad-tempered affair, with sending offs shown in two of the last three meetings and it is 2.65 for over 0.5 red cards to be shown in the match.

Former France Under-19 international Odsonne Edouard, who joined Celtic permanently this summer from Paris Saint-Germain after a successful loan spell, scored a brace in the 5-0 victory against Rangers back in April and he is 4.35 to open the scoring.

Sunday will be the 414th meeting between these two sides and both will be looking to strike an early blow in the title race.