Scottish giants, Rangers and Celtic share an almost insurmountable amount of animosity for each other and the Glasgow Derby is unarguably one of the most famous rivalries in the game. Graeme Murty’s side are giving tough competition to the Bhoys for the Scottish Premiership title and Brendan Rodgers’ troops can no longer be complacent if they hope to make sure that they continue to keep their grip at the top spot in the league standings.
Rangers are due to host Celtic at the Ibrox Stadium on Sunday in the league fixture and here are three key battles that have the potential to dictate the outcome of the Old Firm Derby.
1. Bruno Alves vs. Moussa Dembele
Alves has been in great touch in central defence and there is no denying that his experience and leadership qualities have been handy for the Gers of late. He has marshalled the backline in a meticulous fashion and the manner he has imposed a resounding physical presence has been exemplary.
Meanwhile, Dembele smashed a brace against Greenock Morton in the Scottish Cup and is slowly but surely returning to his top form. The Frenchman will offer pace and tenacity up front but he has to deal with the resilience that Alves would showcase.
2. Alfredo Morelos vs. Jozo Simunovic
Morelos has notched up 13 goals from 27 appearances in the Scottish Premiership and he is likely to lead Rangers’ attacking line once again in the upcoming fixture. He has proven to be a good asset in the aerial duels, is clinical and has shown exemplary attitude.
He can cause some serious trouble for Simunovic with his movements and clinical abilities. The Croatian centre-back will be tasked with keeping Morelos quiet throughout the game and to cut off Morelos from the scheme of Rangers’ attacking endeavours.
3. Josh Windass vs. Scott Brown
Brown’s imposing figure in the middle of the park, along with his leadership and exceptional ability to read the game, would be tested by Windass. Windass has a tendency to create space for himself and for his teammates and has been industrious this season in churning goal-scoring opportunities for his side.
Brown is a cool and composed figure in the middle of the park and the volumes of experience he has under his belt can certainly not be ignored. If Brown manages to tame Windass, the network of the Light Blues would get derailed and that might force the home side to make silly mistakes which would help Celtic to a significant extent.