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Nic Ladds 14th Feb 2009 - 13:19

Boyd to break deadlock in Old Firm clash

It is desperately tight at the top of the SPL as Celtic and Rangers collide in the third Old Firm derby of the season with Celtic at 13/10 and Rangers 11/5 in the betting.

The last two games between these two this season have both gone the way of the away side which incidentally is both the side's only home losses this season.

The last meeting at Celtic Park ended in a 4-2 win to Rangers which can be backed at odds of 100/1 to happen again.

At Ibrox it ended 1-0 to Celtic which is 11/2 to happen this time with 1-0 to Rangers at 7/1, a 1-1 draw is 5/1 or if you think it won't be a goal fest this time then no goal scorer is available at odds of 17/2.

Neither side has been able to take the initiative this season and pull away at the top with some indifferent results for both sides.

Celtic recently lost to Aberdeen and drew with Inverness while Rangers have had a better run recently but only managed a draw to Aberdeen two games ago.

If you fancy Rangers to get off the mark first then look no further than 20 goal striker Kris Boyd. Boyd is by far the top scorer in the SPL and is a generous 7/1 to open the scoring with Kenny Miller 8/1 and Kyle Lafferty 9/1.

For Celtic, Scott McDonald carries the biggest threat at 6/1 to open the scoring with Georgios Samaras at odds of 13/2.

Shunsuke Nakamura is lethal from dead balls and while hasn't been quite as prolific as he can be could be big at 10/1 to open the scoring or 7/2 to bag a goal at any point during the game.

This is predictably usually a fiery affair and over 55 booking points is the favourite at 11/10 with odds of 11/5 available for under 55 points.

While both sides will be desperate to win, Walter Smith has been quoted as saying a draw wouldn't be a bad result for either team and Gordon Strachan is terrified of losing.

This gives the draw some appeal at 11/5 with draw halftime/fulltime available at 4/1 in the betting.

This is more than likely to be an even tenser affair than usual, as both sides know that if they can win it will give them an enormous amount of momentum coming into the second half of the season.

Celtic would pull five points clear and Rangers would move top and have home advantage for the final Old Firm derby.

A goal-fest is unlikely with both sides misfiring more than usual and an onus could be put on defence.

Strachan will be more inclined to send Celtic out to attack as they have home advantage but this could possibly leave them vulnerable at the back.

One thing for sure, Old Firm clashes are always fascinating and fiery affairs and this one will be no different.

1-1 draw - 5/1
Kris Boys to score first - 7/1

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