Rangers v Celtic: Scottish Premiership – live | Scottish Premiership

Rangers: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Davies, Barisic, Kamara, Lundstram, Tillman, Kent, Sakala, Morelos.

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Subs: McLaughlin, Jack, Colak, Sands, Wright, Roofe, Arfield, King, Devine.

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Celtic: Hart, Johnston, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Taylor, McGregor, Hatate, O’Riley, Forrest, Maeda, Kyogo.

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Subs: Bain, Giakoumakis, Abada, Mooy, Jota, Kobayashi, Bernabei, Abildgaard, Juranovic.

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Referee: John Beaton

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With Celtic already nine points clear in the race to the ottish title, Rangers are in desperate need of a win in the first Old Firm match-up of the new year. The two sides meet at Ibrox this afternoon, with Michael Beale taking charge of Rangers in his first Glasgow derby after masterminding four wins from four since taking charge a month ago.

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They will need a far better performance than September’s feeble effort at Celtic Park, when Ange Postecoglou’s side ran riot, battering their visitors by four goals without reply. Celtic go into today’s game on the back of 12 consecutive league wins and have dropped just three points this season, the only blot on their copybook a 2-0 defeat at St Mirren in September. Another victory today will surely end to any faint hopes their city rivals might have of reeling them in. Kick-off at Ibrox is at 12.30pm but stay tuned in the meantime for team news and build-up.

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Key events

A day of remembrance at Ibrox

Ahead of kick-off there will be a minute’s silence to remember the 66 victims of the Ibrox disaster which took place on this day in 1971. There will also be tributes to the late Pele, as well as the Celtic legend Frank McGarvey, who passed away yesterday.

Those teams: Alistair Johnston starts for Celtic after his move to the club last month was ratified by the opening of the transfer window. Midfielder Aaron Mooy makes way for James Forrest and Liel Abada, who scored twice against Rangers in September is a somewhat surprising omission from Celtic’s starting line-up. He has to settle for a place on the bench.

Rangers boss Mick Beale also makes two changes from the side that beat Motherwell last Wednesday. Glen Kamara and Fashionm Sakala come into midfield in place of Alex Lowry and Ryan Jack. Alfredo Morelos starts up front, while Antonio Colak is on the bench.

Rangers v Celtic line-ups

Rangers: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Davies, Barisic, Kamara, Lundstram, Tillman, Kent, Sakala, Morelos.

Subs: McLaughlin, Jack, Colak, Sands, Wright, Roofe, Arfield, King, Devine.

Celtic: Hart, Johnston, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Taylor, McGregor, Hatate, O’Riley, Forrest, Maeda, Kyogo.

Subs: Bain, Giakoumakis, Abada, Mooy, Jota, Kobayashi, Bernabei, Abildgaard, Juranovic.

Referees: John Beaton

Early team news

Rangers defenders John Souttar and Filip Helander remain long-term absentees, while midfielders Steven Davis and Ianis Hagi are also sidelined indefinitely. Up front, Alfredo Morelos is likely to be fit despite limping out of his side’s recent win over Motherwell with a hamstring problem, but may make way for Antonio Kolak, who is back from injury. Kemar Roofe is also returning to full fitness and may feature on the bench.

In the absence of right-back Andrew Ralston, who is injured, Canada international Alistair Johnston is likely to make his Celtic debut after signing from Montreal Imp, but the Hoops are without suspended midfielder David Turnball and injured winger Sead Haksabanovic.

Canadian defender Alastair Johnston will make his Celtic debut in a baptism of fire at Ibrox today.
Canadian defender Alastair Johnston will make his Celtic debut in a baptism of fire at Ibrox today. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA

VAR: Introduced to the Scottish Premiership in October to help referees make fewer errors and hopefully put an end to the often ridiculous conspiracy theories cooked up by more paranoid fans of Scotland’s two biggest teams, it should go without saying imng that Video Assistant Referees have done nothing of the kind. Indeed, if anything, they have only poured more petrol on the conspiratorial fires.

For all the good it will do, ahead of today’s game, Ange Postecoglou has called on the match officials to ensure VAR delays do not disrupt the marquee fixture. Ewan Murray reports …

Scottish Premiership: Rangers v Celtic

With Celtic already nine points clear in the race to the ottish title, Rangers are in desperate need of a win in the first Old Firm match-up of the new year. The two sides meet at Ibrox this afternoon, with Michael Beale taking charge of Rangers in his first Glasgow derby after masterminding four wins from four since taking charge a month ago.

They will need a far better performance than September’s feeble effort at Celtic Park, when Ange Postecoglou’s side ran riot, drumming their visitors by four goals without reply. Celtic go into today’s game on the back of 12 consecutive league wins and have dropped just three points this season, the only blot on their copybook a 2-0 defeat at St Mirren in September. Another victory today will surely end to any faint hopes their city rivals might have of reeling them in. Kick-off at Ibrox is at 12.30pm but stay tuned in the meantime for team news and build-up.

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