Rangers v Celtic Betting Preview – 31/12/16
Rangers v Celtic Betting Preview – 31/12/16
In our Rangers v Celtic betting preview we look at the best possible betting tips between the two sides.
One of the fiercest rivalries in world football takes centre stage at lunchtime on New Years Eve as Rangers and Celtic do battle at Ibrox. It is fair to say that there is a lot of ill feeling between the two clubs supporters, with both desperate for bragging rights. Rangers come into this one having failed to win in their last match, they could only manage a 1-1 draw away at St Johnstone in midweek. Celtic meanwhile carried on their impressive form in their last outing, securing a 2-0 victory over Ross County at Celtic Park.
Rangers have made a largely positive return to the top flight of Scottish football this season and come into this derby match sitting in second place in the Scottish Premiership. The Gers had a mixed start to the season but have found more consistency in recent weeks, winning nine of their last 13 league outings. That has seen them move five points clear of Aberdeen in third place and eight above Hearts in fourth, so they are comfortably sitting in the Europa League qualification positions. Rangers will be extremely keen to made amends for the 5-1 hammering they suffered at the hands of Celtic in September, and they will be confident of doing so as they have not lost at Ibrox all season long, winning their last five.
Mark Warburton’s men have been fairly solid in defence this term. They have shipped 19 goals which is the second best record behind Celtic, but it is going forward where they need to improve if they are to narrow the gap between themselves and their great rivals. Whilst Celtic have several goal scorers in their team Rangers have struggled a little and their current highest scorer is Kenny Miller with just four. The likes of Joe Garner, Martyn Waghorn and Joe Doodoo have not really contributed enough in front of goal so far, between them they have bagged just eight goals which isn’t enough.
Celtic are romping to the title at the moment having enjoyed a magnificent run of form. Brendan Rodgers has guided his side to 14 straight victories and having failed to win just once all season long (a 2-2 draw with Inverness) they have already opened up a 16 point gap between themselves and second place. They are vastly superior to all of the other clubs in the Scottish Premiership at the moment. They are defensively sound and have shipped just 13 goals in 19 matches this season, whilst going forward they are scoring goals from a number of different sources and have bagged a huge 52 goals already.
The likes of Moussa Dembele, Leigh Griffiths and Scott Sinclair have all bagged plenty of goals this season and have a combined total of 26 in the Scottish Premiership. It was Dembele who started the season on fire, netting seven times in his first 11 but he has since managed just one in his next 10 appearances and has struggled of late. Leigh Griffiths has found his feet more recently however, picking up the mantle in front of goal and bagging five in his last seven and he looks back to his best. The one who has remained consistent throughout however, he is the clubs top scorer in the league with 10 goals in 16 appearances for the Hoops. Sinclair is a player who on his day is capable of causing all sorts of problems, as he showed back in his Swansea City days and we fancy him to add to his tally here.
Form usually goes out of the window for matches like this with the game about much more than three points. However, Celtic have been simply flawless this season and after watching them dismantle Rangers once already this term it would be foolish to back against the Hoops so we are going for them to win this one at 3/4 with Sky Bet. There are plenty of goal scorers on the pitch but we think that backing Sinclair to score anytime offers the best value. He is 2/1 to find the net in the 90 minutes, which is excellent when you consider he is Celtic’s leading league goalscorer. The one thing that is always guaranteed with an Old Firm match is a blood and thunder encounter with plenty of tasty challenges flying in. That makes the cards markets very attractive and we like the look of backing a red card to be awarded at 13/8. There is often sendings off in this fixture, with Philippe Senderos being the man to walk at Celtic Park in September.
Celtic to win (Best priced at 3/4 with Sky Bet) – BET HERE
Scott Sinclair to score anytime (Best priced at 2/1 with UniBet) – BET HERE
A red card in the match (Best priced at 13/8 with William Hill) – BET HERE
Check out all of our betting previews HERE
Watch highlights of the last Old Firm derby: