Celtic vs Rangers: Old Firm key battles analysed ahead of Celtic Park clash

Two points separate Celtic and Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership, so where could Saturday’s Old Firm clash be won or lost?

Rangers make the trip to Celtic Park knowing defeat would be a dent to their title hopes even at this early stage of the season.

The Ibrox side are actually unbeaten in four of their last five visits to Celtic Park in the Scottish Premiership, so ahead of Saturday’s encounter, WhoScored.com pick out four key head-to-heads that could well determine who has bragging rights this weekend.

Saturday 3rd September 11:30am

Kick off 12:30pm

Josip Juranovic vs James Tavernier

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Josip Juranovic scored his first Celtic goal of the season in the 9-0 win over Dundee United

As far as the full-backs are concerned for the Old Firm, all eyes will certainly be on Rangers captain James Tavernier, but Josip Juranovic certainly has his part to play for Celtic. The 27-year-old has established himself as first-choice for Celtic since his arrival last summer and his versatility has been key, capable of playing in either full-back position. The Croatia international has settled into a right-back role this season and that will see him come up against Ryan Kent and compatriot Borna Barisic.

Juranovic’s role in the team is not identical to Tavernier’s, but he heads into the Old Firm in good form in front of goal with a goal and an assist in his last two outings. Importantly, however, he has completed six of his seven attempted tackles in the Scottish Premiership this season. He will need to be at his best defensively to keep Rangers’ attack quiet to limit the number of crosses they are capable of putting into dangerous areas.

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Rangers’ James Tavernier scored a powerful free-kick on the opening day of the season at Livingston

Meanwhile, Rangers’ boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst will be encouraging Tavernier to make his presence felt in the opposition half as often as possible.

The 30-year-old’s output makes Trent Alexander-Arnold look average. Over the last three Scottish Premiership campaigns, Tavernier, a right-back, has remarkably played a direct hand in at least nine more goals than any other player (42) and he already has four goals and assists in five games in 2022/23.


Title: Celtic vs Rangers: Old Firm key battles analysed ahead of Celtic Park clash
Sourced From: www.skysports.com/football/news/11095/12685470/celtic-vs-rangers-old-firm-key-battles-analysed-ahead-of-celtic-park-clash
Published Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2022 12:00:00 BST

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