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Sunday 24th April 2005, 12:30 at Ibrox.

THE OLD FIRM DERBY

Rangers versus Celtic




PREVIEW

An old firm derby is a must-win game whether the points count for nothing or are extremely important in the Championship race. This last Old Firm derby of the season is the most important for a long time. With only two points between the sides and 4 games to follow the outcome of this game will be a large factor on where the title goes. Rangers must win this match whereas Celtic could get away with a draw but will be looking for all 3 points too.

Code:
[b]SCOTTISH PREMIER LEAGUE TOP SIX
_______________________
           P   W  D  L  F  A   GD Pts
[color=darkgreen]Celtic     33  27 2  4  77 28  49 83[/color] 
[color=blue]Rangers    33  25 6  2  67 17  50 81[/color]
[color=green]Hibs       33  17 5 11  56 49   7 56[/color]
[color=red]Aberdeen   33  15 7 12  38 33   5 52[/color]
[color=darkred]Hearts     33  13 9 12  39 33   6 48[/color] 
[color=darkorange]Motherwell 33  12 7 14  41 41   0 43[/b][/color]
Celtic

The SPL holders had the championship wrapped up at this point last season but are facing a much stronger fight on their hands this time around. They haven't showed the same form of late as they did at the start of the season and like Rangers appear to be finding games more difficult than they should be.

Their last 5 SPL results:

  • 3-2 Aberdeen (Home)
  • 4-0 Livingston (Away)
  • 0-2 Hearts (Home)
  • 3-2 Dundee United (Away)
  • 2-0 Inverness (Away)

Celtic's away form is very good, the best in the league in fact. They have only dropped points on 3 occassions this season in their 16 away matches. They lost at Ibrox and drew away to Hibs and Dundee. They have scored nearly 40 goals away from home which is twice as many as everyone else except Rangers and Hibs. They have also though conceded a goal a game too. Only once have they failed to score away from Celtic Park.

RANGERS

Rangers have been unconvincing of late and not putting away teams like they should be doing. Like Celtic they suffered a shock home defeat followed by a narrow victory. The pressure is on them as a defeat would mean falling 5 points behind Celtic whereas a win would only mean Celtic falling 1 point behind.

The Rangers fans will be hoping the team raise their game in the way they did to take 3 points at Celtic Park. Before and after that match Rangers had looked a little sluggish on the whole but lifted their game for the derby.

Their last 5 SPL results:

  • 1-0 Dunfermline (Away)
  • 0-1 Dundee United (Home)
  • 3-2 Motherwell (Away)
  • 2-0 Dundee (Away)
  • 1-1 Inverness (Home)

HEAD TO HEAD

It's a different story this season in comparison to last season. Celtic won all four matches in the 2003/04 season but this time Rangers have one two with Celtic winning only the one. If Rangers were to lose this match they would still have taken their share of the points which shows just how far they have come this season.

Both sides are not looking at their best but that matters little anyway in the context of the derby. We know both sides have the ability to win this match and no one can call the outcome with any confidence. Alot will come down to circumstance and a little luck on the day. It should be a cracker.

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SPL, Wed 29th Aug 2004

Celtic 1(0)-(0)0 Rangers


TEAMS:

CELTIC TEAM: Marshall, Agathe, Balde, Varga, McNamara, Juninho (Valgaeren 87), Lennon, Petrov, Thompson, Camara (Wallace 64), Hartson (Sylla 84).

RANGERS TEAM: Rangers: Klos, Hutton, Boumsong, Moore, Vignal, Ricksen, Mladenovic, (Thompson 87), Alex Rae, Arveladze (Lovenkrands 53), Prso, Novo.

REFEREE: H Dallas

ATTENDANCE: 58,935

EVENTS (Text):

69
Balde
75
Moore
79
A.Rae
85
Thompson Celtic 1-0 Rangers

EVENTS (Visual):


Mladenovic tackles Petrov in his Old Firm debut. Mladenovic and most of the backline from that day earlier in the season will not be there on Sunday- Klos, Hutton, Boumsong and Moore.


Just as the game looked to be heading for a goalless draw Alan Thompson whacked home with a great strike. With 5 minutes to go he had won Celtic the game.


Thompson enjoyed geting all 3 points for Celtic but his next game would not be as enjoyable.

________________________________

SPL, Sat 20th Nov 2004

Rangers 2(2)-(0)0 Celtic


TEAMS:

RANGERS TEAM: Klos, Khizanishvili (Malcolm 71), Andrews, Boumsong, Vignal (Ball 59), Namouchi, Ricksen, Alex Rae, Lovenkrands (Arveladze 45), Prso, Novo.

CELTIC TEAM: Hedman, McNamara, Balde, Varga, Valgaeren, Petrov (McGeady 79), Sutton, Lennon, Thompson, Hartson, Camara (Pearson 45).

REFEREE: K Clark

ATTENDANCE: 50,043

EVENTS (Text):

15
Novo Rangers 1-0 Celtic
35
Sutton
36
Prso Rangers 2-0 Celtic
38
Thompson
39
Lennon
39
Lovenkrands
40
A.Rae
56
Sutton
70
Khizanishvili
85
McNamara

EVENTS (Visual):


After being brought down in the box Nacho Novo takes the spot kick himself and scores to put Rangers 1-0 up.


A great Fernando Ricksen free kick finds the head of Prso. His header puts Rangers 2-0 up with just over half an hour played.


An alledged headbutt on Peter Lovenkrands sees Thompson sent packing as Celtic begin to lose the plot.


Sutton's stupidity gets him an early bath too after two deliberate handballs earn him a second yellow.


O'Neill's brain goes into meltdown after losing the match. defeat to Rangers does not compute so he refuses to believe it. He goes on a victory march around Ibrox putting Neil Lennon in a headlong and dragging him along after thinking he had scored the winner.

________________________________

i]SPL, Sun 20th Feb 2005[/i]

Celtic 0(0)-(0)2 Rangers


TEAMS:

CELTIC TEAM: Douglas, McNamara (McGeady 77), Balde, Varga, Laursen, Petrov, Lennon, Sutton, Thompson, Bellamy, Hartson.

RANGERS TEAM: Waterreus, Hutton, Kyrgiakos, Andrews, Ball (Alex Rae 73), Buffel, Ferguson, Ricksen, Vignal, Prso, Novo.

REFEREE: M McCurry

ATTENDANCE: 59,041

EVENTS (Text):

49
Balde
51
Andrews
65
Hutton
71
Vignal Celtic 0-1 Rangers
82
Novo Celtic 0-2 Rangers

EVENTS (Visual):


Craig Bellamy was supposed to be the star of the show in his old firm debut but failed to impress. Big Marvin Andrews had one of his best games in Rangers colours.


Ronald Waterreus was playing in his first old firm derby after Klos got injured and had a fantastic debut. He made a couple of crucial saves to keep Celtic out.


Gregory Vignal's powder puff shot ended up in the net after Celtic keeper Rab Douglas flapped. Douglas was the third keeper to play in the SPL derby in a row.


Nacho Novo secured the points with a late strike.


Once again the game ended controversially when Ricksen was struck by a lighter thrown by a Celtic supporter.
________________________________


THE TEAM

Team news will follow during the week. It's looking likely that Bob Malcolm will partner Kyrgiakos in central defence. That won't be a good move and could cost us the game.
 

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I don't even want to think about this game for a few more days. All I will say is i'm not confident at this stage.
 

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I'm not confident. But then i'm never confident going into old firm games so not much change there.

I wouldn't rule out big Marv for the game quite yet (apparently he is still training with the team)

Do not like the prospect of Bob Malcolm in defence for such an important game. Or Ross either! But then also i don't want to see Andrews get put at too much risk and get a long term injury....plus he might only last 5 minutes before having to go off injured and disrupting the rest of the game plan.
 

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I'm cacking my pants over this game,we need to totally up our game if we are to win tbh and if we can't up our game for this one then i'm afraid to say we don't deserve to win the league.
 

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blue nose bear said:
cheers mate,are you a member on any other gers forums?

post very occassionally on followfollow but that's it...if i was a regular member there or anywhere i'd never be able to turn my computer off :nerd: :D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'll post up a team at the end of the day. It looks like Big Marv might be available for selection :eekani: McLeish would be taking a major risk playing him though. In saying that you have no guarantees that any player won't break down or get injured early in a match. I would hate to see something like that cost Rangers the game and ultimately the title because he'd be made a scapegoat.

The rest of the team picks itself though.
 

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I can't believe Marv has a chance of playing on Sunday. Might be time to start questioning our beliefs guys...
 

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Not long to go now until the biggest match of the season since the last one. I'm trying to be optimistic about this one, but i'm hopeful rather than confident. If big Marv plays, as appears likely, you'd have to be fearful that his lack of match fitness could be exploited by Bellamy. A fully fit Andrews would have no-neck in his back pocket like he did for much of the last match, but if he's not operating at top form... Still, I think we'd all rather see the big man's name on the teamsheet than the dreaded alternative :scared:.

I've got a feeling Waterreus is going to have to come up with another wonder display if we're to take the 3 points. Fingers crossed.
 

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On a personal note, at least I'll be able to watch it this time. I had to listen to the last game at Parkhead on the radio and it was torture.

I can see either team winning it to be honest. Rangers have the better midfield but Celtic have the better attack.

May the jammiest team win.
 

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I won't get a chance to see the match. Won't be listening to the radio either. My damn dissertation's to be in on Monday and they wouldn't accept an Old Firm agame as extenuating circumstances for an extension. F*ckwits.
 

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What, no mention for f*ckwits? :wth: Actually, i'm not sure if the spelling's right :eek:
 

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Anyway...

Does anyone think McLeish would contemplate putting Ricksen back at right-back and playing Rae alongside Ferguson in the midfield. Ricksen's far steadier than Ross, but then we'd be losing Captain Ricksen's influence in the middle. Any time i've seen Rae recently he's looked off the pace of the game as well. Suppose doing that would be us reverting to our old habit of worrying about the opposition players rather than playing to our strengths. Nando and Bazza in midfield it is then!
 
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