Rangers vs Celtic: hosts will pile misery on their Old Firm rivals to keep alive dreams of the double

Rangers Alfredo Morelos
Alfredo Morelos was on target in the most recent Old Firm derby

This weekend's Old Firm Scottish Cup clash was pushed back 24 hours. Betfair's Frankie Monkhouse tips Gerrard's Gers to continue their unbeaten run over the Bhoys...

"Perhaps unsurprisingly, a player has been sent off in four of the last six derbies."

Rangers vs Celtic
Sunday, 15:00
Live on Premier Sports

Glasgow heavyweights clash

Old Firm rivals Rangers and Celtic are no strangers to meeting in the Scottish Cup, but this season, the teams clash earlier than expected. Rangers host Celtic in the fourth round at Ibrox in the headline act of Sunday's programme.

This will be the fourth meetings of the teams this season. The locals enter with an unbeaten record, following back-to-back wins with a 1-1 draw at Celtic Park in the Premiership last month. With the Gers already wrapping up their 55th league title, this represents Celtic's final chance to win a trophy.

Cove cave under Gers pressure

The Scottish Cup resumed in early April following a COVID enforced break. Rangers got off to a winning start when knocking out lowly Cove Rangers at this venue. It was a match Steven Gerrard's side were expected to win at a canter, and despite making several changes to the starting line-up, they did just that. Goals from Jermaine Defoe, Nathan Patterson and a Kemar Roofe double sealed the deal.

Rangers clinched the Premiership title last month with six games to spare before being eliminated by Slavia Prague in a fiery Europa League Round of 16 match, losing 3-1 on aggregate. The Premiership trophy is still to be delivered from across the city, giving fans and players another chance to celebrate. But Gerrard would love to do the double this term, adding the Scottish Cup to the league trophy. To have any chance of achieving that, his men must see off their fiercest rivals.

Big JK in temporary charge

Celtic are drinking in the last chance saloon as they head to Ibrox for this match. What started as the most important season in the Hoops' history ended in embarrassment. They were knocked out of the Champions League, Europa League and League Cup early, all before surrendering the Premiership title. Failure to win 10-in-a-row cost Neil Lennon his job as Celtic manager. Lenny was replaced by interim boss John Kennedy, who took on his first role as a senior team manager. He did so knowing what to expect, having been employed at Parkhead as a player and coach since 1999.

It's looking increasingly unlikely Kennedy will be offered the job permanently, but he could go out on a high if leading the Bhoys to their second Scottish Cup success this season. A future pub quiz question, of nothing else. In charge of Celtic's recent 1-1 draw with Rangers at Parkhead, Kennedy was denied victory by an Alfredo Morelos goal. That will give the stand-in leader some encouragement.

Unbeaten in four, Gers are worthy favourites

Rangers may hold the home advantage, but they do so without any supporters in the stadium once again. It's looking likely there will be an entire season without fans at Ibrox. Rangers are the betting favourites and are unbeaten against Celtic in four games. The 2.3811/8 looks worth taking.

This may be Celtic's last chance to win a trophy, but it's one they have already lifted this season, beating Hearts on penalties on 20 December in the rearranged 2019/20 Scottish Cup final. Will that take some of the edge off their desire to win it again? Celtic are 2.915/8 to march into the next round.

Another tight match expected

Looking closely at the form sheet, we note each of the last three Old Firm derbies has produced less than three goals. That is also true of six of the last seven renewals. Add under 2.5 goals to your accumulators at 1.855/6. Over 2.5 trades at 2.111/10.

Morelos finally got off the mark against Celtic in the last Old Firm, which should help settle the Columbian. Morelos to score first in this game is worth considering. That will appeal to Rangers fans. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a player has been sent off in four of the last six derbies. Keep that in mind when looking for value in the specials.

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