By News Team
Last Updated: 6th December 2019
The Old Firm derby returns on Sunday as Rangers and Celtic battle it out at Hampden Park in the Scottish League Cup final.
Old Firm rivals meet again
The biggest fixture in Scottish football and one of the most heated rivalries in the world, the Old Firm has brought us some of the most memorable sporting moments over the years. Rangers and Celtic have met numerous times in the Scottish League Cup final with both teams having their own share of success.
One of Rangers’ last major honours came in this exact competition in 2010-11, beating Celtic 2-1 thanks to an extra-time winner from Nikica Jelavic. Celtic, meanwhile, are going for their fourth consecutive triumph in this competition and currently sit top of the Scottish Premiership, two points clear of Rangers.
It’s been almost impossible to split the two teams in this season’s title race, with Celtic pushing two points ahead after their dramatic 2-1 midweek win over Hamilton, while Rangers could only manage a draw against third-place Aberdeen.
Neil Lennon’s men are in fine form going into the weekend – 11 games unbeaten in all competitions – but star striker Odsonne Edouard may be absent from the fixture. The Frenchman has impressive stats, having scored 14 goals from 25 games in all competitions this season, before struggling with what Lennon has played off as a “niggle”. Edouard has missed Celtic’s last three games and his manager has stated that he doesn’t know if the striker will be fit for Sunday, although he is hopeful.
If he does play, Edouard is 4/1 to be the first goalscorer on Sunday, which would be worth backing. Otherwise, Rangers’ Alfredo Morelos at 4/1 to be the first goalscorer is another player who could make a mark given his record of 25 goals in 30 games this season.
Celtic favourites for glory
The good news for Celtic is that they can still score plenty of goals despite the absence of Edouard. Last weekend’s 4-1 romping of Ross County proved that Celtic still have firepower and aren’t just relying on one man to bag the goals.
Celtic have also only lost twice to Rangers since 2011-12, however the last two defeats came during the 2018-19 campaign. Steven Gerrard has carried Rangers into the promised land of late and they are showing shades of their past dominance with fantastic displays in league action.
Despite throwing away a 2-0 lead to Aberdeen on Wednesday night, Rangers will go into the weekend full of confidence having not been beaten in any competition since October 3. Their only loss to a Scottish top flight side this season came on September 1 when they were defeated 2-0 by Celtic.
If they win this, it will be Rangers’ first major trophy since 2010-11 so they’ll be hungry for their first bit of silverware. Gerrard, meanwhile, will also be keen to get his first trophy as a manager, so the fixture has all the ingredients to be the most fiercely contested Old Firm in recent years.