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Celtic vs Rangers: Everything you need to know ahead of Saturday’s Old Firm game

Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic and Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s Rangers face off in the first Old Firm game of the Scottish Premiership season on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Football.

Celtic made a perfect start to their title defence, scoring 21 goals and conceding just one en route to winning their first five Scottish Premiership games.

Following victory in their first three league matches, Rangers’ 100 per cent start was cut short by a 2-2 draw at Hibernian before bouncing straight back with a 4-0 victory over Ross County.

Saturday September 3 11:30 a.m.

Kick off 12:30 p.m.

The Ibrox side also enjoyed a successful Champions League qualifying campaign at the start of the season, while Celtic’s European campaign won’t start until Real Madrid at home in the group stage next week.

Rangers will be desperate for a win, which would be Van Bronckhorst’s first against Celtic in the league, to avoid falling five points behind at this early stage, but the form of this fixture is up to the hosts.

Walker: key battles to win

Celtic were unbeaten at home to Rangers in the league last season

Talk to sky sportsFormer Celtic striker Andy Walker said: “Squad selection is still crucial for this game and both managers have options in every department.

“One of the main competitions of the game will be the performance of both teams’ full-backs. While Celtic are drawing so much from Josip Juranovic and Greg Taylor going forward, Rangers are getting just as much attacking intent from James Tavernier and Borna Barisic.

“Juranovic was outstanding in the 3-0 loss to Rangers in February and kept Ryan Kent very quiet. Celtic know Kent is undoubtedly a potential winner for Rangers and have scored a number of times at this site.

“Barisic links up well with the former Liverpool man and that was evident in the magnificent Easter Road goal against Hibs when Kent’s pass to Barisic led to a wonderful cross for Tom Lawrence to score.

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Tom Lawrence celebrates putting Rangers back in front

Tom Lawrence scored a well-worked team goal against the Hibs

“Taylor has been one of Celtic’s best players in the first few weeks of this season. I admire how adventurous he is and, as a full-back, it’s amazing how often he receives the ball with his back to goal in the attacking third. .

“Celtic will have more possession and, despite scoring a hat-trick in the 9-0 demolition of Dundee United, I don’t think Liel Abada will start the game. In my opinion, Daizen Maeda will be on one side of the pitch with Jota on the other.

“Both teams have exceptional goalscorers as the focal point of their team. Kyogo Furuhashi has the movement, work-rate and finishing ability that has been evident since joining Glasgow just over a year ago.

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Celtic's Kyogo Furuhashi (left) celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the match, scoring a hat trick during the Premiership cinch match at Tannadice Park, Dundee. Picture date: Sunday August 28, 2022.

Kyogo scored a hat-trick in the first half against Dundee United

“Like Kyogo, Antonio Colak plays with a smile for Rangers and with seven goals so far he is clearly the biggest threat to Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt.

“Given their outstanding performance in European competition, Rangers will not transfer to Celtic Park.

“However, Giovanni van Bronckhorst will bear in mind that Celtic won 3-0 in February at the same venue.”

Boyd: Rangers need a good start

Rangers' Connor Goldson and Celtic's Kyogo Furuhashi during a Premiership match at Celtic Park
Celtic were unbeaten at home to Rangers in the league last season

“Rangers approach every game with confidence and they have shown, particularly in Europe, that they can play against the best teams,” said Kris Boyd.

“I think in terms of that game in February, maybe Rangers were spooked by the intensity with which Celtic started the game and it was 3-0 at half time.

“There are things that Gio will have learned from that night. I don’t think much has changed at Celtic even since then, so Rangers will know exactly what they are getting into.

“Giovanni van Bronckhorst has changed it at times and the players who could come in – Scott Arfield, Steven Davis, Ryan Jack and Glen Kamara – all played a part in the League Cup win over Queen of the South, so I think he has a decision or two to make.

Scott Arfield scored twice as Rangers beat Queen of the South
Scott Arfield could enter the running for Rangers

“You’d say right now Celtic are the most stable XI but when it comes to a form of derby things can happen early that change games and I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case again this weekend.

“Celtic are always looking to start games with a bang and Rangers haven’t started games this season at the level they probably would like.

“There are key little things when you start to analyze the game that if it continues to form it could be a concern for Rangers.

“There is one thing that Giovanni van Bronckhorst did in big games, he managed to find a way to nullify the opposition and somehow reduce it.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 27: Rangers & # 39; John Lundstram celebrates the 1-0 during a cinch Premiership match between Rangers and Ross County at Ibrox Stadium on August 27, 2022, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group)
Could John Lundstram be the key to Rangers at Celtic Park?

I think the way he sets up allows Rangers that flexibility to go a five, go a three, go a four at the back. There are options and John Lundstram is the key. I don’t see anything changing this weekend, he will be key to what Rangers do at Celtic Park.

“James Tavernier and Jota will be a big contest, so you look at Kyogo with the two Rangers centre-backs.

“The interesting thing will be the battle in midfield and who will come out on top there. Ryan Kent got the better of Josip Juranovic a few times and Juranovic got the better of Kent. They seem to equal each other for rhythm.

“There are individual battles, but it’s more about what the team does and the key battle will be which team can control themselves at the start of the game.

“If you don’t start well in these games, it can get away from you. Rangers are going to have to start well if they want to come away with a positive result.”

What the managers said

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Celtic have won two of Old Firm's three regular season games in 2021/22

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou reflects on Oliver Abildgaard’s signing deadline as he insists they won’t change their approach against Rangers

Celtic coach Ange Postecoglou: “I think our performance has gotten stronger every week and that’s what we’re looking for tomorrow, improvement in the way we do things and play our football and overcome whatever challenges we have.

“You go out and play football and try to be the best you can be and everything else tends to take care of themselves.

“If you need more motivation tomorrow than Wednesday night or you might need it Tuesday, then you’re never going to be successful.

“Our motivation has to be the same every time we’re there and that’s to do our best.”

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Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou (left) and Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst (right) led their teams to the Champions League

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst tells his players to stay focused if they want to get anything out of the first Old Firm clash of the season

Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst: “It will be a difficult game. Celtic are strong at home so we have to be ready for the task.

“I think we are capable of getting a result there, but you have to be sure to be there for 90 minutes and be sharp because they have a lot of quality.

“We formed the team well, we prepared well and at kick-off we are there.”

“Every game is a new game. You can watch past matches and how it went, but now we have new players.

What happened last season

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Celtic v Rangers - 2021-22 History

A look back at the four Old Firm clashes between Celtic and Rangers in the Scottish Premiership in the 2021/22 season

Celtic showed last season that winning the first Old Firm game of the season was not vital to winning the Scottish Premiership title.

Ange Postecoglou’s side lost 1-0 at Ibrox 12 months ago as the manager got off to a shaky start at Glasgow.

Fast forward to February and Celtic swept away Rangers, taking a 3-0 half-time lead. They also won the next match at Ibrox before the final game of the season ended in a 1-1 draw.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst has been winless over Celtic since taking over at Ibrox, despite beating rivals Old Firm in last season’s Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park.

Team News

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou (left) and Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst (right) led their teams to the Champions League
Ange Postecoglou (left) and Giovanni van Bronckhorst (right) have big decisions to make for Saturday’s game

Ange Postecoglou has no injury concerns ahead of the match, although new signing Oliver Abildgaard is not involved.

Rangers welcome back Alfredo Morelos for the game after he was dropped for disciplinary issues.

Midfielder Tom Lawrence has been ruled out until after the international break after picking up the injury in last weekend’s 4-0 win over Ross County.

Ben Davies, John Souttar and Kemar Roofe remain out with unspecified injuries.

Filip Helander is still out with a foot problem and midfielder Ianis Hagi has been out since January after suffering cruciate ligament damage.

Choose your Celtic starting XI

Choose your Rangers from the XI

How to watch

Saturday September 3 11:30 a.m.

Kick off 12:30 p.m.

Watch Celtic vs Rangers live from 11.30am on Saturday Sky Sports Football, with a kick-off at 12:30 p.m. You can also follow him on our dedicated live match blog featuring highlights and game analysis.

Full match summaries will also be posted on the sky sports digital platforms and Sky Sports Football YouTube channel later in the evening.

. Celtic Rangers all you must know before match Firm Saturday News football

. Celtic Rangers ahead Saturdays Firm game

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