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Date: December 30 2023, 12:30pm GMT

Venue: Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland

Teams: Celtic vs Rangers

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Celtic Park closes out the year with OId Firm Clash

The latest chapter in one of world football’s most intense rivalries brings down the curtain on 2023 at Celtic Park. The title race, as usual appears to be a two-horse race, however, both teams have had their ups and downs this season, with an uneasy return to the Celtic Park dugout for Brendan Rodgers and Micheal Beale being sacked by Rangers and replaced by Phillipe Clement. Kyogo Furuhash hit the winner for Celtic back in September in the last Old Firm match at Ibrox.

Rangers have been on a great run since the appointment of Clement. They trail their rivals by five points but, after their midweek match was postponed they have two games in hand. Celtic have failed to win their last two home matches but know that a win here will extend their lead to eight points, meaning that should Rangers win their two outstanding fixtures Celtic will still be top, providing they match their rivals’ results.


Despite remianing unbeaten in the league until a shock defeats to Kilmarnock and Hearts in December, Celtic have stuttered this season. They exited the Scottish League Cup in the early stages with a defeat to the side which ended their unbeaten league run, Kilmarnock. They have also crashed out of the Champions League and are coming under pressure in the league from Rangers.

Defender Cameron Carter-Vickers was withdrawn in the victory over Dundee with “tightness” in his hamstring, but it is hoped that he will be fit. Odin Thiago Holm (illness) is doubtful. It is expected that the Old Firm clash will come too soon for Liel Abada and Reo Hatate who are both recovering from hamstring issues. James McCarthy (hamstring) and Tomoki Iwata (unspecified) are both out until the New Year. After hitting a brace in midweek, Mikey Johnston could come into the starting line-up. Furuhashi has scored four times in his last three Premiership appearances against Rangers and will start up front.

As for Rangers, Connor Goldson will be assessed ahead of kickoff after sustaining a groin injury against Motherwell on Christmas Eve, but Jose Cifuentes, Tom Lawrence (both muscle), Danilo (knee), Nicolas Raskin (ankle), Steven Davis (ACL), Kemar Roofe, John Lundstram, Ryan Jack and Borna Barisic (all unspecified) all remain in a packed treatment room.

The potential absence of Goldson will likely see John Souttar start at centre-back alongside Leon Balogun as Ridvan Yilmaz and James Tavernier, who has scored three goals in his last three league meetings with Celtic, continue as full-backs.

Dujon Sterling could keep his place in midfield alongside Todd Cantwell and Kieran Dowell, while Ross McCausland, Cyriel Dessers and Abdallah Sima are the most likely trio to start in attack, although Sam Lammers, Scott Wright and Rabbi Matondo will all be hoping to force their way into the first XI.


New boss Clement has overseen improved form since replacing Beale. Clement secured the first trophy over the season when Rangers beat Aberdeen in the Socttish League Cup final. Rangers will travel to Parkhead looking for vital points in the title race and will be keen to avenge Celtic’s 1-0 win at Ibrox in September. A win will take them within two points with two games in hand. A loss will mean that their destiny is out of their own hands.

Connor Goldson (groin) faces a firness testahead of kickoff. John Souttar could replace him. Jose Cifuentes (muscle injury), Tom Lawrence (muscle injury), Danilo (knee), Nicolas Raskin (ankle), Steven Davis (ACL), Kemar Roofe, John Lundstram, Ryan Jack and Borna Barisic (all unspecified) all are likely to remain on the sidelines. Defender James Tavernier has scored three goals in his last three league meetings against Celtic.


Celtic will go into the match as favourites, however, the form book often goes out of the window in the white hot Old Firm atmosphere. It will be tight, as a loss for either side would be a huge blow, but we think Celtic, who have had the better of recent Old Firm matches, will prevail. Home win.

Check out the best football bookies and the best Scottish Premiership betting sites ahead of making your picks.ç

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Chris is a former athlete and a qualified PE teacher. He is a keen football fan, watching many matches at different levels throughout the season, and enjoys following many different sports. With betting and sports sites, he has a keen eye for detail and can to highlight positives and negatives for users. His experience in sport as a performer, teacher, writer and fan allows him to see things from many different perspectives. Editorial Promise