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P.J. Murray 29th Apr 2012 - 8:29

Old Firm preview


Although the SPL is drawing to a close and Celtic have been crowned league champions, there is the matter of one final Old Firm Derby to take place.

The Bhoys were celebrating a league won in emphatic fashion, when they beat Kilmarnock 6-0 to seal it. But since then they lost out in William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final to Hearts and as such have only to settle for one title this season.

Rangers have managed to solidify second spot when at one stage they were dangerously close to dropping out of the SPL's top two.

The last meeting of these two ended in a 3-2 win for Rangers against the odds as they prevented Celtic from claiming the title at Ibrox. It's 25/1 for Celtic to win 3-2 this time around. Also our Match Winner for this game is for there to be five or more goals scored at 6/1. These two also played out a six goal thriller earlier in the season at Ibrox when Rangers ran out 4-2 winners. So there is the potential for goals.

The Gers have won both Old Firm clashes at Ibrox while Celtic are unbeaten at home against their rivals this season. At 4/5 it's a bit short to be backing Celtic. Their form has been somewhat erratic with their two cup defeats.

Rangers have nothing  to lose and everything to gain from a win at Celtic Park. It would put a gloss on what has been a disappointing season on the pitch for the blue half of Glasgow. Ally McCoist's side are 7/2 to buck the trend and claim their third Old Firm win of the season.

Last season the sides met seven times, but this season, with poor cup form they have only met three in what has been a quieter SPL, but it means that chances are at a premium for gaining advantage on your rival. This is why I expect Rangers, despite current form, to really put it up to the league champions.

You can have 9/1 on the double result of Draw/Rangers. There will be an explosive start to this game, but I expect defences to be kept tight and it should open up in the second half.

Gary Hooper has just edged ahead of Anthony Stokes as Celtic's top scorer this season. Hopper has 23 strikes to his name while Stokes is on 20. Hooper is 4/1 to open the scoring and Even money to net at anytime. Irishman Stokes is 11/2 to score first and 6/4 to hit the net anytime during the game.

The loss of Jelavic has been a massive blow for Rangers and it shows as no one has even come close to his 17 goals so far this season. Kyle Lafferty has been quite temperamental this season, but he could the hero for Rangers. However Sone Aluko at 11/4 for anytime scorer is well worth a bet.

Both teams to score at 8/11 would appear to be a good bet, but when you think that the only meeting at Celtic Park this season ended 1-0 to Celtic, it might be worth re-considering. I expect this to be a close game, with only one goal between the sides. Rangers to win 1-0 at 12/1 is the bet for me.


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