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Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic head to Ibrox on Sunday knowing that a win will all but end Rangers’ title challenge for another year and effectively seal a seventh successive championship for Brendan Rodgers’ side.
The Scottish Champions have stuttered in the league since the turn of the year, and a postponed match combined with excellent Rangers form has closed the gap at the top of the table to six points, making Sunday’s lunchtime fixture even more enticing.
Celtic returning to form
Celtic haven’t had it all their own way this season, losing away to Kilmarnock and drawing with St Johnstone at home during February, while also exiting the Europa League at the hands of Zenit St Petersburg.
The Hoops also had a frustrating time in their last match against Rangers, being held to a goalless draw in front of their own supporters in the New Year fixture.
But Brendan Rodgers has a 100% record at Ibrox, recording 2-1 and 5-1 wins last season on the way to securing an unprecedented invincible treble, and winning 2-0 at the start of this campaign. Despite their blips, the champions will still fancy their chances.
Celtic also have striker Moussa Dembele back scoring goals after he notched three in his last two outings. The Frenchman has five strikes in as many games against Rangers, including a hat-trick in last season’s 5-1 win at Celtic Park.
Rangers scoring for fun
Under interim manager Graeme Murty, Rangers are a team bang on form, and they look like an energised side since strengthening their squad with five signings in the January transfer window.
The Gers have won their last six in style, scoring an impressive 23 goals along the way. With striker Alfredo Morelos and midfielder Josh Windass scoring 24 goals between them in the league, the Light Blues have all the tools to put pressure on Celtic.
However, despite their recent run of form, Rangers have come unstuck on several occasions at home this season, surrendering points in the league after losses to Hibs, St Johnstone, and Sunday’s opponents Celtic.
Since their return to Scotland’s top division, Rangers have failed to beat Celtic in their last five league attempts, last recording a home win against the Hoops in 2012 under Ally McCoist during their administration phase.
The Light Blues are 5/2 to record their first home win against Celtic in six years this weekend.
With both teams offering a threat going forward, a high scoring draw is not out of the question.
A second successive draw between the sides on Sunday is available at 12/5.
Celtic to maintain bragging rights
Celtic have dug deep and produced results this season when it has mattered most – their 2-0 victory at Ibrox in September and convincing wins home and away to third-placed Aberdeen show they have the mettle to turn it on when they need to.
While they may concede to a Rangers team with dangerous options in the final third, they have dominated this fixture with four wins in their last six league meetings, scoring 15 in the process.
I would suggest backing both teams to score and Celtic to win at 3/1.
Scott Sinclair hit the net four times in six matches against Rangers last season and has been integral to Celtic’s domestic success under Brendan Rodgers.
Don’t be surprised if he has his say on Sunday, and at 5/1 to score first he could be worth a punt.