Team news and stats ahead of Rangers vs Celtic in the Scottish Premiership on Sunday (kick off 12pm).
Rangers Defender Jack Simpson is set to make his Old Firm debut on Sunday after Filip Helander was ruled out for the remainder of the season.
Ibrox boss Steven Gerrard has confirmed that Helander will play no part in his side’s last three games of the campaign – starting with Celtic’s visit to Ibrox this weekend.
However, Gerrard remains confident the Sweden international will still win the Euros this summer, despite a knee injury against St Johnstone last week.
The center-back limped into overtime as the surprise Scottish Cup quarter-final loss to the Saints resulted in penalties.
With long-term injured Leon Balogun and Nikola Katic also unavailable, it means former Bournemouth defender Simpson is now ready for a derby baptism of fire as he only begins his second Rangers since moving to Glasgow in January.
Scott Arfield missed the loss to the Saints with a blow to the ankle and was also told his season was over.
Wingers James Forrest (back / hamstrings) and Mikey Johnston (stroke) return to the Celtic squad after recovering from injury.
Defender Christopher Jullien has been out for a long time with a knee injury. Captain Scott Brown will play in his last Old Firm game before joining Aberdeen as a player / assistant next season.
How to follow
Rangers vs Celtic will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Football and Main Event from 11 am; kick off at 12 p.m. Sky Sports customers can watch clips of the game in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.
What the managers said
Patron of the Rangers Steven gerrard: “It was a first step to winning the title, and the challenge since then has been to try to keep the players motivated until the end. The good thing from our point of view is that there are still things we want to achieve as a group.
“We want to try and set a new clean sheet record if possible, and we want to remain undefeated this season. We have a great game to look forward to this weekend. I want to keep the players as motivated as possible, but that’s a unique situation, naturally there will be some players who will come back a bit to where they were before because what we were trying to achieve was so important.
“The Old Firm always helps bring players into the zone. The players understand the importance of the game and we want to try to finish as well as possible. You always want to beat your rivals, and after the set.[against St Johnstone], which stung a lot, hopefully we can bounce back on the weekend. “
Acting Celtic Boss John kennedy: “We can use [ending the champions’ hopes of an unbeaten Premiership campaign] as motivation, but ultimately we have to judge ourselves by what we’re doing. What we haven’t done, especially in the last two games, is be ruthless in the vital moments of the game and take our chances and change the dynamics of the game.
“Especially in the last game we gave two away goals that put us on the back foot and then with the big moments when we had a chance to get back into the game we didn’t take them. So we have to be more clinical.
“When you’re more clinical it breeds a higher level of confidence and you see more fluidity in your football. These are the challenges we’ve been facing lately. We haven’t been ruthless enough and that changes everything. The dynamic.
“The performance is still stable but we have to be better in both boxes, not giving anything on our side and being ruthless at the top. We want to go out on Sunday and be free in our game but be very organized and know what we are doing and coming back. to show what we really are. “
Last time …
“ The Rangers are already in the minds of Celtic ”
Former Rangers midfielder Charlie Adam told Sky Sports:
“Thinking back to last summer and the rumors of players wanting to leave (Celtic), I think the Rangers were focused; focused on the job each individual had to do. The big job was to stop 10 in a row and they did, a bunch of gamers who were hungry in there.
“With the events at Celtic, the disappointment of some results and the players wanting to leave in the window and it never materialized. I think it had an effect on the dressing room. The Rangers continued to go about their business. They have shown the quality, they also have on the field, they have had incredible performances.
“When you face Celtic you have to be there and every Old Firm they’ve been. Look, Celtic have done well in the last two Old Firm games, which is expected, but at the end of the day it’s is all about winning games and the Rangers have managed to do it.
“Rangers are in Celtic’s mind because of what they’ve done. But Sunday comes, the form comes out the window, I have said it several times.
“That’s how you set yourself up. We know the Rangers will play 4-3-3. Will Celtic walk away with the diamond? They’ve had a bit of success, in terms of performance, in the last two games. “
- The Rangers are unbeaten in four league meetings with Celtic (W3 D1), including three this season (W2 D1). The Gers last avoided defeat in every Old Firm league derby in a season in 1999-2000 under Dick Advocaat (P4 W3 D1 L0).
- After winning four consecutive league games at Ibrox from 2016 to 2018, Celtic have since lost three of their last four away league games to Rangers (W1).
- Each of Rangers’ last five goals against Celtic has been scored from a set piece (4x turns, 1x indirect free kick); The last Rangers player to score from an open play in an Old Firm League derby was Ryan Kent in December 2019.
- In all competitions, Rangers have won four of their five home games against Celtic under Steven Gerrard (L1), keeping a clean sheet in each of those victories.
- The Rangers have won their 17 home league games this season, scoring 49 goals and conceding just three in the process. Indeed, it is the longest winning streak at home for all sides of the Scottish elite since the Rangers themselves won 18 in a row from October 2007 to November 2008 under Walter Smith.
- Celtic are winless in three away league outings (D2 L1); they lasted longer without a championship win on the road in May 2013, a streak of six under Neil Lennon.
- Celtic have gained 14 points from losing positions in this season’s Scottish Premiership, more than any other team. Meanwhile, the Rangers have lost just six points from the winning positions, a joint low in the competition (tied with Hibernian), although they conceded a 95th-minute tie against St. Johnstone in their last league game.
- Steven Davis has assisted the Rangers’ last two league goals in his last two league games; he had only assisted two goals in his previous 55 Scottish Premiership appearances before.
- Odsonne Edouard has scored (six) or assisted (three) nine of Celtic’s last 13 league goals against Rangers, including five of their last six (three goals, two assists).
- Rangers’ James Tavernier (11 goals, nine assists) and Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard (16 goals, four assists) have been directly involved in more goals than any other player in the Scottish Premiership this season (20).