Old Firm to go on the offensive
Can Gerrard get one over his old boss to blow the Scottish Premiership title race wide open?
There’s no shortage of drama when the Old Firm meet each other and the pot has been stirred that bit more with the rivalry between the two manager’s in the dugout.
Former Liverpool skipper Gerrard isn’t doing a bad job of locking horns with his former boss at Anfield so far though. He’ll be relatively pleased with how his new side have kept pace with their fierce city rivals to sit just 3 points adrift of the leaders in second place.
They’ll be a hint of frustration in the air at the number of times his side have shot themselves in the foot having taken a lead, Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to Hibs a case in point. It’s a frailty that would see them even closer to Celtic currently and perhaps still in Europe too.
Due to this, I won’t be backing the hosts to prevail on the day. But having scored in all but one of their 10 matches at Ibrox, there’s a high probability Rangers, backed by a bumper home crowd, will register.
I say this in confidence due to a 22-year-old Columbian striker currently leading the goalscoring charts up North. Alfredo Morelos has notched 12 in the league and 20 in all competitions already and has proven himself to be deadly from almost anywhere in or outside the box.
His exploits in front of goal are also earning him plenty of suitors South of the border and with the January transfer window set to shortly swing open, you’d think he’ll be out to make an impression one way or another!
In comparison, Celtic have shared goal scoring responsibilities around the team and will arguably pose the greater threat in the final third.
French youngster Odsonne Edouard (12), James Forrest (8) and Scott Sinclair (6), fresh from having doubled his season’s tally with a hattrick away at Aberdeen last time out, have all contributed at various points this campaign.
The need for the goals and points to keep coming is crucial too; for the first time in a long time The Hoops are in a title race and Rangers have to be considered as genuine contenders with the bitter rivals as close they’ve been in many a year.
Irrespective of the gap standing at just three points, there’s next to no chance of Brendan Rodgers setting out his team to do anything other than attack. The Northern Irishman rarely wavers from his strong attacking principles, a stance which more often than not sees Celtic blow their opposition away.
Fifteen goals in the last five, certainly proves Celtic are in the groove but on the flip side, their philosophy can also see them got at by the better sides in the division, as was proved at Pittodrie just a few days ago when Aberdeen run them close in a seven goal thriller.
While I’m not expecting seven goals in the midst of a hotly contested derby encounter, I believe there’s enough attacking talent to warrant a wager on both teams to score. Best market odds of 4/5 can be found with Unibet!