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Discussion Starter #1
I don't know if it's just me or it's just too early in the seson but even this early this old firm derby appears to be fairly low key in comparison to the ones that went before. It's probably just me as my appetite for the game has not been what it was since Walter Smith came back on the scene. The product as a whole fails to hold my attention for long now as I persevere watching each match rather than enjoying it.

There is no doubting if we'd won the league or the UEFA Cup it would be different. That is human nature but we didn't and so all we are left with is the reality of what we are left with. Throwing money at it hasn't changed the fact that we still do not play football. We are not even up to the standard in footballing terms of Falkirk or Hamilton. When we win it is a consquence of a very little bit of luck but ultimately because we have better players. It's little to do with tactical expertise.

Anyway on to the old firm derby where all that doesn't matter. Winning this game or taking something from it has never been about silky soccer or playing the better football- as Tommy Burns found out. This is the one fixture, with the possible exception of our games against Aberdeen, where football goes out the window. It's about fire and commitment and overall will to win. It has it's fair share of luck and no doubt there will be the odd decision by the officials which will play their part.

The game itself is quite easy to predict at Celtic Park. Celtic will go out in a 4-4-2 and with the crowd behind them be looking to win the match on their own terms. Rangers will go out in a 4-5-1 and look to stop Celtic winning it while hoping they can nick something on a break or from a set play.

It worked once so Walter will no doubt try it again. As we all know the past means nothing. Form means nothing. It's all about that 90 minutes on the park. Things can go very wrong or very right very quickly on a piece of luck, brilliance, stupidity or even a refereeing decision. Both sides are level on points going into this one. A win would be a good result for Celtic whereas Rangers would settle for a draw.

Personally I think this is a game Celtic will win because I don't think they are any different from last season wherease Rangers have gone backward from when they beat Celtic 3:0 at the start of last season- ie no Hutton, Cuellar and Ferguson for this one.

As it stands Strachan has won the last two meetings but overall Smith has a 4:2 advantage in the head to head meetings. Both will be looking to increase the stat at the weekend. Interesting that there has been no draws in that time. Rangers have scored 10 times and conceded 5 times- all coming in the last 2 defeats with Alexander in goal for 4 of those.

I'd be extremely surprised, but delighted, if Walter Smith played a 4-4-2 in this one. I fully expect a 4-5-1 lining up something like this:

---------------McGregor

Broadfoot----Weir----Bougherra-----Papac

----------------Thomson

Novo------Davis-------Mendes----??

---------??

At the moment I have no idea who will fill those vacant roles. Miller is sure to take one of them but I'd be extremely pissed off if it was left midfield again. Ideally I'd like to see Beasley or Lafferty if he is fit there. Also it's not sure whether Edu may make an appearance but I would home Smith learnt his lesson with Faye in relation to debuting foreign players in big SPL matches. Up front is a mystery. A fully fit and fully focussed Cousin for me would be the best bet but he is neither or those. I doubt it will be Boyd and not so sure either about Velicka. So I think it's a straight fight between Miller and Darcheville. Neither inspire me with confidence to be honest.


Previously


Celtic 0:1 Rangers (Ugo)


Rangers 2:0 Celtic (Boyd, Adam)


Rangers 3:0 Celtic (Novo (2), Ferguson)


Rangers 1:0 Celtic (Thomson)


Celtic 2:1 Rangers (Novo)


Celtic 3:2 Rangers (Weir, Cousin)
 

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You are right, Cousin is the best option and the only striker we have that would cause them problems. But we know he won't play

Likewise with Hemdani, our best defensive midfielder but unlikely to feature.

I'd like to see Beasley get a start on the left, but it will likely be McCulloch there if he's fit :groan:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Even a draw would be a good result here. I'd take that after playing 3 of our oprning 4 games away including 2 of our toughest away fixtures. That would keep us level but as you say the result won't affect the season.

I don't see much between the teams but Celtic have obviously the crowd which helps. Also they've got consistency of selection whereas we have too many changes required. But they will miss the front two if they are indeed not going to make it.

Once again this week I'm a bit pissed off at certain Rangers players doing their talking in the media. In particular Broadfoot who would be as well having his own column now. He is the weak link in the Rangers side and if he makes McGeady look good again tomorrow then he really should have a look at himself.
 

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Yeah Broadfoot should just try and keep his head down

To be fair to him he's actually been alright so far this season, but he's still never a right back. Weir is starting to worry me quite a bit too, its as if his age has finally caught up with him over the course of the summer (That plus Cuellar was covering his mistakes well)

btw was speaking to McCoist last night, i gave him a few tactical tips about the merits of playing with a bit of pace in the wide areas of a midfield 5 and how Beasley and Novo should start. :D So if the team sets up with novo - davis - mendes - thomson - beasley and we get a result then i'm claiming the credit :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Did you tell him to stick big Dan up front too TB? If so I think you got inside his head. ;) If he took on your comments about speed in the wide areas then he's taking the piss on the left today. :D

I can't believe he's actually starting Cousin. I'm all for it but surely Walter should have given him a game before now. That is a big surprise for me considering he has just spent £6m on 3 strikers and for the second week in a row he is playing with strikers he already had.

I'm not sure how we'll line up today. It actually looks like Walter has grown a pair and balls and is going 4-4-2:

---------------McGregor

Broadfoot----Weir----Bougherra-----Papac

Davis--------Thomson----Mendes----Adam

---------Cousin-----------Miller

What the f**k is Charlie Adam doing in that lineup. As far as I know there is nothing wrong with Beasley and Adam has been rank rotten. As long as this is a 4-4-2 then I'm fairly happy but think it could have been employed better. Just as long as it's not a 4-5-1 with Miller out wide again.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
An interesting bench too when you see who is missing:

Beasley
Darcheville
Whittaker
Boyd
Velicka
McCulloch

They all miss out so a few shocks there. The others on the bench are:

Alexander
Edu
Dailly
Novo
Lafferty
Niguez
McMillan
 

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Full time 2-4 :thumbsup:

Miller will get the headlines but Cousin was immense! Unlucky to get sent off as well, considering some of the fouls that were directed against him that went unpunished.

Mendes was a standout as well, great goal :thumbsup:
 

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Full time 2-4 :thumbsup:

Miller will get the headlines but Cousin was immense! Unlucky to get sent off as well, considering some of the fouls that were directed against him that went unpunished.

Mendes was a standout as well, great goal :thumbsup:
Why was Cousin sent off, Honestly can't a Centre Forward compete for a ball in the air?

Fantastic today and it could have been more. Three fantastic goals and another howler :howler: from Borat that was the icing and then Miller to get two was the cherry on top.

We're top and lets make it stay that way!
 

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u guys have mendes , good player he is , pretty underrated
 

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Fantastic result for Rangers at Parkhead.

The decision to send Cousin off was baffling but predictable as the two Celtic thug defenders whined constantly because they weren't getting their own way. Eventually the referee was influenced.

Pedro Mendes was outstanding, and as above Cousin bossed their defence about all day long.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Broadfoot is certainly improving going forward but I'm still worried about him defensively. Great footage TB. The best I've seen since Hutton nutmeggd Ronaldinho. :thumbsup:

Great pics too Swoosh. :thumbsup:

Great performance at the weekend. The best I have seen us play in a long time. I never thought Walter had that in him but credit where it was due. If we could get more of that on a consistant basis then I for one would be happy.
 
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