Rangers v Celtic Betting Tips
There’s one big match that dominates this weekend in the SPL – so check out our Rangers v Celtic betting tips. It’s the biggest game of Steven Gerrard’s managerial career; he will lead his Rangers side out at Ibrox to face bitter rivals, and main title challengers, Celtic. You can see the action on Saturday 29 December at 12.30pm live on Sky Sports. This will be the final game from the division before going into the winter break that takes us through to 23 January; as such, we’re hoping we get a match that lives up to expectations and does enough to keep us talking through the few weeks off.
There’s not a lot between the sides heading into the tie; however, Rangers will know defeat means a massive blow to their chances of claiming a 55th league title. Therefore, they will be eager to avoid that at all costs, especially after dropping a 1-0 at Parkhead earlier in the season.
There can be no doubt Gerrard has improved Rangers drastically in the short-term; we need only look back at the fortunes of the club under Pedro Caixinha and Graeme Murty to see just how far they’ve come. It’s by no means the finished article, however and everyone connected to the Ibrox club will know that.
Rangers stormed to the top of the league; however, they lacked the character needed to stay there. The club lost at home to Aberdeen before slumping to a disappointing draw away to the 10 men of relegation-threatened Dundee. A match they should’ve won with a bit to spare, Gerrard told members of the press post-match he now knows the players he can trust, and he’ll need 11 of them to have any chance of beating Celtic.
Hoops Fancy Another Big Win at Ibrox
Celtic have had plenty of joy against Rangers in recent years, both at Parkhead and Ibrox. They made light work of the blues here last season; although much has changed in both camps, they will make the short trip across the city looking to send out a message by recording another big win in Govan.
We’ve spoken about the improvements made by Gerrard for the light blues; however, if they were to lose heavily against their derby rivals at home it would knock them right off-course. To be honest, we’re doubtful they would be able to bounce back this season.
Celtic won 10 of their first 15 games, losing two and drawing three. A far cry from the invincibles of Brendan Rodgers’ first season; however, they are more than good enough to retain their title and have shown in flashes the team’s true potential. The Bhoys were never more impressive than when hammering Kilmarnock at Parkhead earlier this month. The Rugby Park outfit arrived in town top of the league and on a stunning recent run; however, they were dismantled by their hosts who scored five goals on a day eight really wouldn’t have surprised anyone.
Forrest scored the first of two on five minutes; his double was added to by Edouard, Lustig and Christie, the latter continuing his eye-catching form in front of goal. The victors played high up the pitch and took the chances that came their way. If they can be as clinical in the final-third against Rangers there’s no reason why they can’t score a few more.
Mixed Bag in Europe
The Old Firm sides suffered a mixed bag of results in the Europa League recently with Rangers bowing out at the group stages while Celtic secured a place in the knockout rounds. Both were poor for most of the group matches and Celtic went through with a record of three wins and three defeats to finish second behind runaway winners Red Bull Salzburg. A surprise draw between RB Leipzig and Rosenborg was enough to send The Bhoys through with nine points against the seven of the Bundesliga side.
Rangers ended third in Group G with one win, three draws and a couple of defeats. They had to win in Vienna on the last night but couldn’t get the desired result; they passed up a number of clear opportunities, including hitting the bar, before being made to pay the price. Rapid hit on the counter-attack to book their place in the next round and get revenge for a 3-1 drubbing at Ibrox in game two. It’s no consolation to fans but the team can now put their entire focus on the domestic campaign without playing Thursday-Sunday most weeks.
What the Stats Say
So, where can the stats help us with our Rangers v Celtic betting tips? Celtic battled to a 1-0 win over Rangers at Parkhead. However, despite the result, The Gers backline put in an impressive performance to keep the scores low. They were drawing plaudits from followers at the time, but the same defence has lost all confidence and leaked a goal a game in their first four outings this month. If Celtic are given the same chances to score, we’re confident they’ll help themselves to more than one.
The head-to-head stats stand at Rangers 159-155 Celtic with 99 games ending in a draw; however, The Hoops have dominated in recent seasons as they move to close the gap. Celtic have beaten Rangers to nil in each of the last three meetings of the sides and, at least, one team has failed to find the net in five of six. That pushes us towards a bet on no from the both teams to score market which is priced at 19/20 at Unibet.
Punters keen on another Celtic win will get a decent price about their side, with odds of evens at BetBright; however, we think it would be worth pushing your luck a little and backing the champions to win to nil for the better price of 23/10 at Coral. The visitors may have the upper hand, but this will be another fiery contest. Both teams leave the formbook in the dressing room and will count this as a one-off derby match.
Victory will send one into the winter break on a high and looking forward to 2019. The losers will be sent slumping back to the drawing board, spending the break licking their wounds and searching for reinforcements from England in the January transfer window. Enjoy the game.